What Might Have Been available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Orion Publishing Group, Limited
A dozen star historians on what might have happened at history's turning points if the dice had fallen differently.
Throughout history, great and terrible events have often hinged upon luck. Andrew Roberts has asked a team of twelve leading historians and biographers what might have happened if major world events had gone differently? Each concentrating in the area in which they are a leading authority, historians as distinguished as Antonia Fraser (Gunpowder Plot), Norman Stone (Sarajevo 1914) and Anne Somerset (the Spanish Armada) consider: What if?
Robert Cowley demonstrates how nearly Britain won the American war of independence. In her first publication since her acclaimed GEORGIANA, Amanda Foreman muses on Lincoln's Northern States of America and Lord Palmerston's Great Britain going to war, as they so nearly did in 1861. Whether it's Stalin fleeing Moscow in 1941 (Simon Sebag Montefiore), or Napoleon not being forced to retreat from it in 1812 (Adam Zamoyski), the events covered here are important, world-changing ones.
About the Author
Andrew Roberts took a first in Modern History at Cambridge. He has been a professional historian since the publication of his life of Lord Halifax , The Holy Fox, in 1991. He contributes regularly to the Sunday Telegraph. Lives in Knightsbridge, London, and has two children. His Salisbury won the Wolfson History Prize in 2000. He published Napoleon and Wellington in 2001.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am always fascinated by the concept of conterfactual views of history, but this is a mixed bag. Some were good, like the successful Spanish Armada, successful Gunpowder Plot, Charles I winning the civil war and the alternative American civil war where the North fights against not only the South but Britain and France as well. However, in some of them, the point of divergence was not entirely clear and in some cases, the argumentation confusing, e.g. the one where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand survives assassination. I found some of the developments of future history implausible, e.g. Russia developing into the world's major prosperous liberal democracy purely because of the assassination of Lenin in April 1917; and Molotov taking over as Soviet leader after the execution of Stalin in 1941 for fleeing Moscow, and being the iron strong leader of his country until the date of his real death in 1986. Also, some of them were perhaps tinged with the political assumptions of their authors such as Simon Heffer's view of the course taken by a Heseltine-led Conservative Government after Mrs Thatcher is killed in the Brighton bombing. And David Frum's portrayal of President Gore's reaction to 9/11 falls into the same category, though it is written in a rather tongue-in-cheek style.