If the South Had Won the Civil War

If the South Had Won the Civil War

3.8 4
by MacKinlay Kantor, Dan Nance
     
 

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The Past is a strange place indeed . . . everything could have been so different so easily.
Just a touch here and a tweak there . . . .

MacKinlay Kantor, Pulitzer Price-winning author and master storyteller, shows us how the South could have won the Civil War: how two small shifts in history (as we know it) in the summer of 1863 could have turned the tide

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Overview

The Past is a strange place indeed . . . everything could have been so different so easily.
Just a touch here and a tweak there . . . .

MacKinlay Kantor, Pulitzer Price-winning author and master storyteller, shows us how the South could have won the Civil War: how two small shifts in history (as we know it) in the summer of 1863 could have turned the tide for the Confederacy. What would have happened to the Union, to Abraham Lincoln, to the people of the North and South, to the world?

If the South Had Won the Civil War originally appeared in Look magazine nearly half a century ago. It immediately inspired a deluge of letters and telegrams from astonished readers, and became an American Classic overnight. Published in book form soon after, Kantor's masterpiece has been unavailable for a decade. Now, this much requested classic is once again available for a new generation of readers, and features a stunning cover by acclaimed Civil War artist Don Troiani, a new introduction by award-winning alternate history author Harry Turtledove, and fifteen superb illustrations by the incomparable Dan Nance.

It all begins on that fateful afternoon of Tuesday, May 12, 1863, when a deplorable equestrian accident claims the life of General Ulysses S. Grant . . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kantor's speculative "what if" story about the Confederacy triumphant was published in Look magazine in 1960. It received enough positive response to be picked up and released as a book the following year. This edition features a new introduction by Harry Turtledove, author of The Guns of the South, as well as new illustrations. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312869496
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
11/03/2001
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
267,407
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

If the South Had Won the Civil War

The Past is immutable as such. Yet, in Present and in Future, its accumulated works can be altered by the whim of Time.…
As we enter the centennial of those military events which assured to the Confederate States of America their independence, it seems incumbent upon the historian to review a pageant bugled up from dusty lanes of the nineteenth century, to comment upon the actors appearing in such vast procession, and to inquire into the means by which they galloped toward fame or ignominy.
(If one would wish to apply this scrutiny to earlier epochs, he might in the same manner ask himself what would have befallen had winds not torn the canvas of the Spanish Armada?--had the Pilgrims landed on that Virginia coast for which they were originally primed?--had the boat bearing Washington capsized in the Delaware River?--had Pakenham been able to sweep triumphantly across the cotton-bale breastworks at New Orleans?)
Fruit of history contains many seeds of truth; yet unglimpsed orchards might have bloomed profusely in any season, were all the seeds planted and cultured before they dried past hope of germination.
Our American Civil War ended abruptly in July, 1863, with the shattering of the two most puissant armies which the North had been able to muster and marshal.
There was no more rebellion. Instead there had been a revolution, and the success of that enterprise now became assured--first, in Mississippi--and, almost simultaneously, some fourteen hundred miles away, among the green ridges which bend across the Pennsylvania-Maryland line.

Copyright © 1960 by MacKinlay Kantor. Renewed © 1988 by the Estate of MacKinlay Kantor.

Meet the Author

MacKinley Kantor was born in Webster City, Iowa, on February 4, 1904. In 1934, he published Long Remember, which received numerous rave reviews and became his first bestseller. Ten years later, Kantor was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Andersonville. He was one of the most well-known American writers during the 1950s and still remains one of the most respected Civil War authors to date. He died on October 11, 1977.

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If the South Had Won the Civil War 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
RebeccaGraf More than 1 year ago
(my review was based on an older edition of the book) I love to scrounge around on my bookshelves or through old boxes to discover books that have gotten "lost" and forgotten about. So many jewels can be found that way. A few weeks ago I was looking through my bookshelf to clean some things off. I discovered a small, old book called If The South Had Won The Civil War by MacKinlay Kantor. You could tell from the cover it was old. In fact it was near fifty years old. It was a very small book, so I decided to give it try. I discovered something very interesting. For someone who is familiar with history, this book might prove to be a difficult read. I was reading along and finding myself frowning what really happened was not displayed in the book. I had to keep telling myself that this was a piece of fiction and was exploring a "what if" scenario. It really got to be frustrating. When I managed to get through the small book, I was highly impressed at how well the author was able to set aside history and create a whole new timeline. He showed how the nation split as well as Texas. Robert E. Lee, no surprise, became a Confederate President. Everything I knew as history changed. One act, the death of a strategic general, changed all of history. What if the South really had won the war? So many things would be different. The author really got me thinking about other events. What if one small act had changed the outcome of elections, wars, disasters, and so forth? We might not recognize the world at all. I found this book to be very short, yet full of such detail that it leaves your head spinning. Kantor adds footnotes and writes the entire book not as a typical fiction novel, but as a fictional historical report. That is why it can become confusing to one who knows their history. In researching a little more on the book, I really found it interesting that it began as a piece in a 1960 magazine. It garnered so much attention that the book was not long in coming out. Many people began to wonder what would have happened. Debates and speculations began over whether Kantor's "history" could really have come about. You will not find this to be a typical fiction read as I have stated earlier. Go into this telling yourself to forget the history you have learned. Otherwise, it will be a little difficult to fully grasp. If you are in an adventurous mood, give this short book a try. It could spark some really good conversation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Assumptions are not fully developed. One would have to know a considerable amount concerning the events discussed in order to connect the dots as to how the assumptions could have the effect presented.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel by MacKinlay Kantor is one of great imagination and what if. Think for a moment that Gen. Grant was killed in his riding accident, or if Gen. Lee was not beaten at Gettysburg. The possibility of the alternatives to history are not only interesting, they are provacative. Could the USA become, the CSA and Republic of Texas? What would happen to all our ideals and monuments that celebrated freedom before 1861, would this world be dominated by a supreme race still enraged by slavery traveling through thier veins? Read the book and make a decision for yourself. If anything read how history and fiction can blend into a fascinating story.
Boom-bah More than 1 year ago
This is a very, very good book; with the picturial imagination that I have in my own mind, I can see this really taken place. If these things where to have happened. I love the story and I have a new author to add to my collection of "What If". I would like to find more books from him.