Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactualsby Niall Ferguson
Pub. Date: 09/28/2000
Publisher: Basic Books
What if there had been no American War of Independence? What if Hitler had invaded Britain? What if Kennedy had lived? What if Russia had won the Cold War? Niall Ferguson, author of the highly acclaimed The Pity of War, leads the charge in this historically rigorous series of separate voyages into “imaginary time” and provides far-reaching/i>
What if there had been no American War of Independence? What if Hitler had invaded Britain? What if Kennedy had lived? What if Russia had won the Cold War? Niall Ferguson, author of the highly acclaimed The Pity of War, leads the charge in this historically rigorous series of separate voyages into “imaginary time” and provides far-reaching answers to these intriguing questions.Ferguson’s brilliant 90-page introduction doubles as a manifesto on the methodology of counter-factual history. His equally masterful afterword traces the likely historical ripples that would have proceeded from the maintenance of Stuart rule in England. This breathtaking narrative gives us a convincing, detailed “alternative history” of the Westfrom the accession of “James III” in 1701, to a Nazi-occupied England, to a U.S. Prime Minister Kennedy who lives to complete his term.
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Table of Contents
|Introduction: Virtual History: Towards a 'chaotic' theory of the past||1|
|1.||England Without Cromwell: What if Charles I had avoided the Civil War?||91|
|2.||British America: What if there had been no American Revolution?||125|
|3.||British Ireland: What if Home Rule had been enacted in 1912?||175|
|4.||The Kaiser's European Union: What if Britain had 'stood aside' in August 1914?||228|
|5.||Hitler's England: What if Germany had invaded Britain in May 1940?||281|
|6.||Nazi Europe: What if Nazi Germany had defeated the Soviet Union?||321|
|7.||Stalin's War or Peace: What if the Cold War had been avoided?||348|
|8.||Camelot Continued: What if John F. Kennedy had lived?||368|
|9.||1989 Without Gorbachev: What if Communism had not collapsed?||392|
|Afterword: A Virtual History, 1646-1996||416|
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This is a collection of essays by various historians about key events in history, from the American Revolution to the Eastern European revolutions of 1989. The themes are "did this event have to happen?" and "what would have happened if it didn't?" The book is thought-provoking if you're interested in the historical periods covered. Having lived through 1989, I found the essay on that period to be kind generalizing and conclusory, but otherwise it's worth a read.
This was very useful in setting up boundaries for a lesson on alternative paths history could take at key points in a timeline.
This title reads like a LIT 211 lecture at a very small college. More on the theory of alternate history literature and less on the cases themselves. Same scenarios have been better explored elsewhere.
If you read before bedtime, this is better than any sleeping pill. You'll be out in less than 5 minutes