Max Brooks


Listen to Max Brooks and other SXSW speakers on Audible

As a best-selling author, Max Brooks is credited with helping propel zombie-lore from niche sub-culture fascination to mainstream pop-culture obsession. While Brooks has published three massively successful zombie-themed books—The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks (all of which are now considered the definitive tomes for the genre)—Brooks’ ultimate goal was to challenge old ways of thinking and encourage mental agility and flexibility for problem solvers and leaders. Brooks’ unique, unconventional thinking depicted in his books has even inspired the U.S. military to examine how they may respond to potential crises in the future. World War Z was read and discussed by the sitting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Brooks has been invited to speak at a variety of military engagements—from the Naval War College, to the FEMA hurricane drill at San Antonio, to the nuclear "Vibrant Response" wargame. Adapting to adversity has been the enduring theme in all of Brook’s works. From the true story The Harlem Hellfighters, which chronicles the heroic African American unit in the trenches of World War 1, to the fiction Minecraft: The Island, the first official novelization of the 100,000,000+ videogame franchise, and his upcoming Bigfoot novel Devolution, Brooks continues to explore what drives us to succeed in a hostile world. His new comic book, Germ Warfare: A Graphic History tells the long, painful story of humanities’ battle with microbes, and how those microbes have been used to battle each other. Today, Brooks balances his work as a novelist and speaker with his duel fellowships at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Modern War Institute at West Point. As an analyst and columnist, Brooks has written about national security subjects such as automation, weapons procurement, and cyber-warfare just to name a few. Together with his colleagues from the MWI, Brooks has co-edited two books on teaching military science through science fiction: Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict and Winning Westeros: How Game of Thrones Explains Modern Military Conflict.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.