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What If? 2: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (2001)

af Robert Cowley (Redaktør)

Andre forfattere: James Bradley (Bidragyder), Caleb Carr (Bidragyder), James Chace (Bidragyder), Theodore F. Cook Jr. (Bidragyder), Carlos M. N. Eire (Bidragyder)20 mere, George Feifer (Bidragyder), Thomas J. Fleming (Bidragyder), Richard B. Frank (Bidragyder), Victor Davis Hanson (Bidragyder), Cecelia Holland (Bidragyder), Alistair Horne (Bidragyder), David Kahn (Bidragyder), Robert Katz (Bidragyder), John Lukacs (Bidragyder), William H. McNeill (Bidragyder), Lance Morrow (Bidragyder), Williamson Murray (Bidragyder), Robert L. O'Connell (Bidragyder), Josiah Ober (Bidragyder), Geoffrey Parker (Bidragyder), Theodore K. Rabb (Bidragyder), Andrew Roberts (Bidragyder), Roger Spiller (Bidragyder), Geoffrey C. Ward (Bidragyder), Tom Wicker (Bidragyder)

Serier: What if (2)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
932816,827 (3.49)9
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.… (mere)

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Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
I like the alternate history genre, but like these essays more for what they tell me about what happened then for any of their speculation about what might have been. Perhaps it's that most seem to come down on the side of Pangloss that this is the best of all possible worlds. ( )
  cwcoxjr | Sep 5, 2019 |
alternative history / counterfactual
(Tufts Course — Winter 2011)
insignificant event — unforeseen consequences
1) Disease — Wild Card! 1918 Influenza
2) Weather — Storms — G.W. crossing Delaware
Always "German Question" — P. 155 — Short rest / good bkft change history choices made By harried man
3) Animosity — Gambles work
Genghis Kahn — Mongols — hated culture / cities / elite —
power by proven abilities not birth
Words — Xenophobic — hatred of foreigners
draconian — evil

Historians and inquisitive laymen alike love to ponder the dramatic what-its of history. In these twenty never-before-published essays, some of the keenest minds of our time ask the big, tantalizing questions:

Where might we be if history had not unfolded the way it did?
Why, how, and when was our fortune made real?

The answers are surprising, sometimes frightening, and always entertaining..
  christinejoseph | Aug 27, 2017 |
Another excellent collection of counterfactual historical essays edited by Robert Cowley. All are well-written and well-argued (some, naturally, more than others); the topics are all well-chosen and the book is certainly not a waste of your time. Counterfactual history exercises are often sniffed at, but Cowley successfully argues for the legitimacy of the approach: "There is no better way of understanding what did happen in history than to contemplate what very well might have happened. Counterfactual history has a way of making the stakes of a confrontation stand out in relief." (pg. xvii).

By mapping out contrary routes, the historians here shatter the complacency regarding what "we have come to accept as the natural course of world history" (pg. 102) and, in doing so, throw into sharp emphasis just how important certain factors were to a certain event, and how important a certain event was to historical developments. The counterfactual scenarios are all thought-provoking and some are scarily real and immediate. Anything that challenges complacency about the inevitability of things – not least the Disneyland moral that good always triumphs over evil just because – is very welcome in our worrying times. (The undermining of Brexit, the impact of mass migration, the assault on political freedoms… we can't just assume our worldview will be safe just because it is right.) The readability and high scholarship of the book is just a massive bonus to this timely reminder. ( )
1 stem Mike_F | Apr 18, 2017 |
This is a set of essays dealing with issues that might have gone in two or more directions if one or two things had turned out differently. The twenty-five essays cover topics ranging from the absence of Socrates due to a possible death in battle, past the execution as an heretic of Martin Luther, to the lack of potatoes in the history of European population expansion. It's an interesting read due to the number and eminence of the essayists. Another possible use is as a primer of historical methods used by the essayists, if one were doing a course on their works. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Mar 24, 2014 |
I was a bit disappointed in this collection, but it was mostly a personal taste. Some of the writers' styles were not to my liking. But several of the stories seemed to fall short of their promise, focusing more on the history around their chosen event and just suggestions of alternate sequences of events. The history of the potato was very interesting and the author raised some real question about what could have happened if any of a number of events had varied, but he did not write any real alternate stories. I felt this story didn't deliver what the book promised.

Some of the stories worked very well, exploring Churchill's politics and his influence on WWII.

Overall, I suspect the scope of speculative fiction doesn't work well with the short story format. ( )
  Nodosaurus | Jun 23, 2012 |
Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (5 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Cowley, RobertRedaktørprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bradley, JamesBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Carr, CalebBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Chace, JamesBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Cook Jr., Theodore F.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Eire, Carlos M. N.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Feifer, GeorgeBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Fleming, Thomas J.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Frank, Richard B.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hanson, Victor DavisBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Holland, CeceliaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Horne, AlistairBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kahn, DavidBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Katz, RobertBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Lukacs, JohnBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
McNeill, William H.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Morrow, LanceBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Murray, WilliamsonBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
O'Connell, Robert L.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ober, JosiahBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Parker, GeoffreyBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Rabb, Theodore K.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Roberts, AndrewBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Spiller, RogerBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ward, Geoffrey C.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Wicker, TomBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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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 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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