The Great War: Walk in Hell (Great War Series #2)

The Great War: Walk in Hell (Great War Series #2)

4.5 102
by Harry Turtledove
     
 

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The year is 1915, and the world is convulsing. Though the Confederacy has defeated its northern enemy twice, this time the United States has allied with the Kaiser. In the South, the freed slaves, fueled by Marxist rhetoric and the bitterness of a racist nation, take up the weapons of the Red rebellion. Despite these advantages, the United States remains pinned

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Overview

The year is 1915, and the world is convulsing. Though the Confederacy has defeated its northern enemy twice, this time the United States has allied with the Kaiser. In the South, the freed slaves, fueled by Marxist rhetoric and the bitterness of a racist nation, take up the weapons of the Red rebellion. Despite these advantages, the United States remains pinned between Canada and the Confederate States of America, so the bloody conflict continues and grows. Both presidents—Theodore Roosevelt of the Union and staunch Confederate Woodrow Wilson—are stubbornly determined to lead their nations to victory, at any cost. . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The leading author of alternate history."
—USA Today
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
What would happened if the Ear Between the States had evolved into the First World War? That's the fascinating question that harry Turtledove poses in his bristling new alternate history fiction. In the novel, it's 1917 and president Roosevelt is leading the United States through a conflagration on two fronts. To the north, the Americans are battling the Canadians and the British Empire, and, to the south, the never-say-die Confederate States continue their barbed wire defiance. Thus, all the intensity of the Civil War is infused with all the barbarity of twentieth century engines of death. Air combat, lethal gas, tank shells, and long range bombardment all rear their ugly heads. Savage—and satisfying.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Hugo Award-winning master of alternate world histories presents the second volume in the WWI series he began last year with The Great War: American Front. In Turtledove's version of the War to End All Wars, conflict rages on the American continent between the USA (with 34 states) and the Confederate States of America, which won secession during the Civil War. Allied with Germany and France, the USA in 1915 hopes to take advantage of a weakened CSA, which is plagued by a socialist revolution engineered by its former slaves. Setting his tale on a suitably large canvas, Turtledove introduces a variety of characters who exemplify the diverse political and economic circumstances of the period: Anne Colleton, a former Confederate landowner, must learn to cooperate with her activist fieldhands; Flora Hamburger, a New York intellectual, fights against class injustice and runs for a seat as a socialist congresswoman; Confederate sub commander Roger Kimball plans a risky attack on New York Harbor. Turtledove judiciously blends famous historical characters into the plot, so readers learn of General Custer's frustration at being unable to conquer Tennessee and see Woodrow Wilson as a Confederate president. Although there are numerous battle scenes, the gore is restrained. Instead, the author emphasizes character, and his thorough knowledge of the period's history will, as usual, captivate his readers, Foreign rights sold in the U.K. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
World War I enters its second year, and on the American continent the opposed forces of the United States and the Confederacy (CSA) continue to battle each other, determined once and for all to settle the conflict that has divided them since the Civil War. Continuing the epic saga begun in The Great War: The American Front, Turtledove chronicles the growing turmoil as second-class blacks lead a Communist uprising in the CSA while U.S. Socialists protest American involvement in the war and Canadian civilians rise up against American occupation forces. The author's consummate knowledge of military history lends immediacy to his battle scenes while his understanding of human nature brings a personal touch to the harsh and unforgiving reality of war. A good choice for most libraries. [Science Fiction Book Club main selection.] Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sequel to The Great War: American Front (1998), an alternate world yarn where WWI has developed into a struggle on American soil. The United States, led by Teddy Roosevelt, have allied themselves with Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany. Woodrow Wilson's Confederate States, though backed by Britain and France, face internal troubles in the shape of a Marxist-inspired rebellion of the South's oppressed blacks. Contortions aside, then, what we end up with is Turtledove's restaging of the American Civil War within a 20th-century milieu. For readers less than totally committed, the question is: when does maybe topple over into no way?

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345405623
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/2000
Series:
Great War Series, #2
Pages:
640
Sales rank:
408,157
Product dimensions:
4.16(w) x 6.88(h) x 1.31(d)

Read an Excerpt

George Enos looked across the Mississippi toward Illinois. The river was wide, but not wide enough to let him forget it was only a river. Here in St. Louis, he was, beyond any possible doubt, in the middle of the continent.

That felt very strange to him. He'd lived his whole life, all twenty-nine years of it, in Boston, and gone out fishing on the Atlantic ever since he was old enough to run a razor over his cheeks. He'd kept right on going out to fish, even after the USA went to war with the Confederate States and Canada: all part of the worldwide war with Germany and Austria battling England, France, and Russia while pro-British Argentina fought U.S. allies Chile and Paraguay in South America and every ocean turned into a battle zone.

If a Confederate commerce raider hadn't intercepted the steam trawler Ripple and sunk it, George knew he'd still be a fisherman today. But he and the rest of the crew had been captured, and, being civilian detainees rather than prisoners of war, eventually exchanged for similar Confederates in U.S. hands. He had joined the Navy then, partly in hopes of revenge, partly to keep from being conscripted into the Army and sent off to fight in the trenches.

They'd even let him operate out of Boston for a while, on a trawler that had gone hunting for enemy vessels with a submarine pulled on a long tow. He'd helped sink a Confederate submersible, too, but the publicity that came from success made any future success unlikely. And so, instead of his being able to see his wife and children when he wasn't at sea and to work like a fisherman when he was, they'd put him on a train and sent him to St. Louis.

He called up to the deck officer aboard the river monitor USS Punishment: "Permission to come aboard, sir?"

"Granted," Lieutenant Michael Kelly said, and Enos hurried up the gangplank and onto his ship. He saluted the thirty-four-star flag rippling in the breeze at the stern of the Punishment. Kelly waited till he had performed the ritual, then said, "Take your station, Enos. We're going to steam south as soon as we have the full crew aboard."

"Aye aye, sir," Enos said. Because he was still new to the Navy and its ways, he hadn't lost the habit of asking questions of his superiors: "What's going on, sir? Seems like everybody's getting pulled on board at once."

From some officers, a query like that might have drawn a sharp reprimand. Kelly, though, understood that the expanded Navy of 1915 was not the tight-knit, professional force it had been before the war began. The formal mask of duty on his face cracked to reveal an exuberant grin that suddenly made him look much younger: like Enos, he was tanned and lined and chapped from endless exposure to sun and wind. He said, "What's up? I'll tell you what's up, sailor. The niggers down in the CSA have risen up against the government there, that's what. If the Rebs don't put 'em down, they're sunk. But while they're busy doing that, how much attention can they pay to us? You see what I'm saying?"

"Yes, sir, I sure do," Enos answered. "Mind you," Kelly said, "I haven't got any great use for niggers myself—what white man does? And if the scuttlebutt is the straight goods, a lot of these niggers are Reds, too. And you know what? I don't care. They foul up the Rebels so we can lick 'em, they can fly all the red flags they want." "Yes, sir," George said again. After the commerce raider snagged him, he'd been interned in North Carolina for several months. He'd seen the kind of treatment Negroes got in the CSA. Technically, they were free. They'd been free for more than thirty years. But— "If I was one of those Negroes, sir, and I saw a chance to take a shot at a Confederate—a white Confederate, I mean—I'd grab it in a second."

"So would I," Kelly said. "So would anybody with any balls. Who would have thought niggers had balls, though?" He turned away from Enos as a couple of other sailors reported back aboard the Punishment.

The river monitor was, in the immortal words that had described the first of her kind, a cheesebox on a raft. She carried a pair of six-inch guns in an armored turret mounted on a low, wide ironclad hull. She also had several machine guns mounted on deck for land targets not worth the fury of guns that could have gone to sea aboard a light cruiser.

Enos had been a fisherman, which meant he was adept at dealing with lines and nets and steam engines, even if the one the Ripple had carried was a toy beside the Punishment's power plant. Having made use in his first assignment of the things he knew, the Navy plainly figured it had done its duty and could now return to its normal mode of operation: his station on the Punishment was at one of those deck machine guns.

He minded it less than he'd thought he would. Any New England fisherman worthy of the name was a born tinker and tinkerer. He'd learned to strip and clean and reassemble the machine gun till he could do it with his eyes closed. It was an elegantly simple means of killing large numbers of men in a hurry, assuming that was what you wanted to do.

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Meet the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart, The Guns of the South, and How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the War That Came Early novels: Hitler’s War, West and East, The Big Switch, Coup d’Etat, and Two Fronts; the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance;the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, andIn at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

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