Robert Cowley is the founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, which was nominated for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Cowley has held several senior positions in book and magazine publishing.
What If? 2: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Beenby Robert Cowley
What if Lincoln didn't abolish slavery? What if an assassin succeeded in killing FDR in 1933? This volume presents 25 intriguing "what if..." scenarios by some of today's greatest historical minds-including James Bradley, Caleb Carr, James Chace, Theodore F. Cook, Jr., Carlos M.N. Eire, George Feifer, Thomas Fleming, Richard B. Frank, Victor Davis Hanson, Cecelia… See more details below
What if Lincoln didn't abolish slavery? What if an assassin succeeded in killing FDR in 1933? This volume presents 25 intriguing "what if..." scenarios by some of today's greatest historical minds-including James Bradley, Caleb Carr, James Chace, Theodore F. Cook, Jr., Carlos M.N. Eire, George Feifer, Thomas Fleming, Richard B. Frank, Victor Davis Hanson, Cecelia Holland, Alistair Horne, David Kahn, Robert Katz, John Lukacs, William H. McNeill, Lance Morrow, Williamson Murray, Josiah Ober, Robert L. O'Connell, Geoffrey Parker, Theodore K. Rabb, Andrew Roberts, Roger Spiller, Geoffrey C. Ward, and Tom Wicker.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- 5.86(w) x 10.96(h) x 0.93(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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If this is where the contest is at...WHERE AR T RULES??!!
Unlike 'What If? 1', which was entirely about military counterfactuals, 'What If? 2' has the additional merit to consider military and non-military counterfactuals. To his credit, Robert Cowley manages again to put together a 'dream team' of historians. As Cowley correctly points out in his introduction, events manipulate great men and women probably as much as great men and women manipulate events. Over time, men and women unfortunately tend to drift from one extreme to another in their approach to history. Action or inaction of great men and women, the impact of the environment on their behavior as well as broad social, economic and political trends are ultimately equally important in understanding history properly. Unsurprisingly, readers will probably perceive the counterfactual essays to be of uneven quality in both volumes of What If? Some history buffs could blind themselves to their supposed knowledge of specific events about which speculation is made. The participating historians are usually efficient at first explaining to their audience what really happened and then exploring counterfactuals. This approach generally has the merit of making history accessible to a wide audience. In evaluating each essay on its merits, readers could follow the advice that Geoffrey Parker gives in his contribution about the counterfactual victory of the Invincible Armada in 1588 to 'What If? 1': 1) Only small and plausible changes should be made to the actual sequence of events and 2) After a certain time, the previous pattern may reassert itself (pg. 151-152).