What if? 2

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There is no surer way to feel the danger or the good fortune of our collective past than to contemplate those moments when the world's future hung in the balance. Our brightest historians speculate on some of these intriguing crossroads and the ways in which our lives might have been changed for the better -- or the worse.

These unabridged essays range across the full span of history. Geoffrey Parker describes ramifications that might have included a divided Reformation ...

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Overview

There is no surer way to feel the danger or the good fortune of our collective past than to contemplate those moments when the world's future hung in the balance. Our brightest historians speculate on some of these intriguing crossroads and the ways in which our lives might have been changed for the better -- or the worse.

These unabridged essays range across the full span of history. Geoffrey Parker describes ramifications that might have included a divided Reformation movement, a strengthened Catholic leadership, and no European settlements in the Americas. And Caleb Carr argues that we could have been spared the horrific last six months of World War II in Europe if Eisenhower had seized his chance to destroy the Nazis in the fall of 1944.

This all-star list of award-winning and bestselling authors includes Lance Morrow, Andrew Roberts, Cecelia Holland, Theodore F. Cook and others.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
What If? 2 is alternative history at its best. Here's a sampler: Tom Wicker imagines an America where Lincoln didn't free the slaves, Caleb Carr argues that Patton should have been unleashed when the Nazis were vulnerable in the summer of 1944, and Geoffrey C. Ward explores what a more aggressive press corps might have meant for FDR politically. "What might have been" makes for compelling reading.
Publishers Weekly
Like its predecessor (also edited by Cowley), this is an engrossing collection of essays on counterfactual history. Each contributor examines a pivotal event, then considers the ramifications had the event come out differently. In some cases the ramifications are so monumental that their effects are more obvious than intriguing. For example, if Socrates had died in battle during the Peloponnesian War, Victor Davis Hanson suggests, democracy, Christianity and Western thought as a whole would be radically different. Similarly, had Pontius Pilate pardoned Jesus the book's most fascinating premise Christianity would have developed in entirely new directions, according to Carlos M.N. Eire. Other essays depend, to diminished effect, on nonevents, such as Theodore F. Cook Jr. explaining what the incredible Chinese navy would have accomplished in the Atlantic and the New World had the Ming emperors not turned inwards. Most authors, however, have teased out some incredibly tiny detail in history and demonstrated how that one stitch holds the whole fabric together. Most notably, Robert L. O'Connell explains how one bureaucrat may have kept Germany from winning WWI by hindering a program of unrestricted submarine warfare. James Bradley writes about a ragtag group of Australian soldiers during WWII who held back thousands of well-trained Japanese forces on the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea and by this Thermopylae-like action prevented the enemy from taking Port Moresby and, thus, Australia; had the defenders failed, "the entire calculus of the Pacific War" would have changed. And Robert Katz explores what would have happened had Pius XII protested the Holocaust, which he twice had a chance to do. Cowleyhas put together another fun book, although his introductions to each essay give away too much of the game. Illus. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743509367
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 6.04 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps & Illustrations
Introduction
Socrates Dies at Delium, 424 B.C. 1
Not by a Nose 23
Pontius Pilate Spares Jesus 48
Repulse at Hastings, October 14, 1066 68
The Chinese Discovery of the New World, 15th Century 85
Martin Luther Burns at the Stake, 1521 105
If Charles I Had Not Left Whitehall, August 1641 120
Napoleon's Invasion of North America 134
If Lincoln Had Not Freed the Slaves 152
France Turns the Other Check, July 1870 165
The Election of Theodore Roosevelt, 1912 181
The Great War Torpedoed 195
No Finland Station 210
The Luck of Franklin Delano Roosevelt 236
The War of 1938 255
Prime Minister Halifax 279
The Boys Who Saved Australia, 1942 291
Enigma Uncracked 305
Pius XII Protests the Holocaust 317
VE Day - November 11, 1944 333
The Fuhrer in the Dock 344
No Bomb: No End 366
The Presidency of Henry Wallace 382
A Tale of Three Congressmen, 1948 404
What If Pizarro Had Not Found Potatoes in Peru? 413
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