What Ifs? of American History: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been

What Ifs? of American History: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been

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by Robert Cowley
     
 

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Did Eisenhower avoid a showdown with Stalin by not taking Berlin before the Soviets? What might have happened if JFK hadn't been assassinated? This new volume in the widely praised series presents fascinating "what if..." scenarios by such prominent historians as: Robert Dallek, Caleb Carr, Antony Beevor, John Lukacs, Jay Winick, Thomas Fleming, Tom Wicker, Theodore

Overview

Did Eisenhower avoid a showdown with Stalin by not taking Berlin before the Soviets? What might have happened if JFK hadn't been assassinated? This new volume in the widely praised series presents fascinating "what if..." scenarios by such prominent historians as: Robert Dallek, Caleb Carr, Antony Beevor, John Lukacs, Jay Winick, Thomas Fleming, Tom Wicker, Theodore Rabb, Victor David Hansen, Cecelia Holland, Andrew Roberts, Ted Morgan, George Feifer, Robert L. O'Connell, Lawrence Malkin, and John F. Stacks.

Included are two essential bonus essays reprinted from the original New York Times bestseller What If?-David McCullough imagines Washington's disastrous defeat at the Battle of Long Island, and James McPherson envisions Lee's successful invasion of the North in 1862.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
This somewhat unusual approach to the study of history is informative, interesting, and even entertaining. Cowley has invited 17 eminent historians to speculate on how history might have been changed if certain events or conditions had not occurred or had occurred differently. A caution—the readability level generally falls into the college range and the essays have a scholarly tone. These features will not deter the serious older YA history buff. Each article stands alone and ranges in length from 10 to 20 pages. The author describes the situation or event as it happened, and then he speculates on what might have happened if conditions had been altered. Finally, he discusses any long-range results that have occurred. Weather and illness (physical and mental) sometimes affected the course of American history. Four essays deal with events in the Civil War. Someone's smoking habits and carelessness may have changed the course of the war. A breakdown in communications prior to the Battle of Shiloh indirectly led to the writing of Ben Hur. Three articles focus on the breakup of the Union, including the possibility of a new country in the Midwest. Finally, the essays move into the 20th century and deal with WW II, the Cold War, and John F. Kennedy. The editor has selected well. The essays might serve as teaching tools in critical reading and creative writing endeavors. The topics are infinite. Good if matched with the right student. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students and adults. 2003, Penguin, Berkley, 298p. illus. maps., Ages 17 to adult.
—Prof. John E. Boyd
Library Journal
In this illustrated third volume of the "What If" series on conjectural, counterfactual, or imaginary history, editor Cowley once again enlists the assistance of historians David McCullough (on the Battle of Long Island), James McPherson (on General Lee's famous "Lost Order"), and others such as Tom Wicker, Robert Dallek, and Thomas Fleming. Breezy, popular, and yet with some annotations (although no bibliography or index), this compilation entertains and provokes the already informed and whets the general reader's appetite for the would-be past. The essays demonstrate how events influence one another by showing what could have happened rather than judgmentally making a case for what should have occurred. Great for history buffs not quite ready for fiction, it is suitable for public libraries and general academic collections.-Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Library of Congress Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101204702
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/07/2004
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
642,344
File size:
869 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

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.

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What Ifs? of American History 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This would a fine addition to any history library. It takes seventeen events, such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Watergate, and postulates what might have happened if they'd gone just a little differently. The results are entirely plausible and very often surprising. The essays are very well written. This will be hard to put down once you've started.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This continues Robert Cowley's series on speculating what happens if one key fact in history turns the other way. Two essays are reprints from prior books.
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