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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The plausible "what if's" of military history.

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  #1  
Old 30 Jan 04, 13:02
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What If?

Okay, anyone read this great collection of essays from some of the most respected in the biz? The book is of the same name as the thread and is a fantastic collection of counterfactual and second order counterfactual essays. Stephen Ambrose (still great no matter what happened in his twilight days), John Keegan, James M. McPherson... the list goes on. It is edited by Robert Crowley and only $14 in soft cover. It even spawned a sequel, although while the first volume dealt mainly in military counterfactual, the second spread out into other topics of more far ranging social counterfactual, such as "What if Jesus had not been crucified?"

I enjoyed the first more, cause lets face it, military "what if's" are always a little more fun and exciting. At least to me. The first volume has such great topics such as... "What if the US lost at Midway?", "What if D-Day failed?", "What if Lee's Special orders No. 191 had not been lost?" and "What if it wasn't foggy the morning Washington escaped from Brooklyn?".

Well, I recommend for any fans of the counterfactual. Four Star good read.
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  #2  
Old 12 Feb 04, 18:53
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I have read both of those books and they were great. But I did like the first one better.
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Old 12 Feb 04, 23:22
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I agree the first is a very good read. I didn't know about the sequeal. I posted also on the Book Recemmendation thread.

Matt
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Old 26 Feb 04, 14:04
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Stephen Ambrose?

iago, what do you mean about Stephen Ambrose? I know he passed away last year. I've read a few of his books, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Is there a skeleton in his closet?
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Old 04 Mar 04, 14:55
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Ambrose

Ghost Soldier... sorry I didn't get back sooner. In the months before Stephen Ambrose's death, a scandal erupted. He was charged with plagerism regarding excerpts from his books about the 8th AF and some of Citizen Soldiers. They were semi-truthful but no where as bad as some claimed them to be. His alleged plagerism was more descriptive... as if excerpted passages from letters sent home and used them to set the tone for weather, mood and other intangibles.
I thought him to be a great author as well, and enjoyed all his works I read.
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Old 07 Mar 04, 16:23
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Actually there's three books in the series now: What If?, What If? 2, and What Ifs of American History. If you liked these collections, I'd also recommend Almost America by Steve Tally.
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Old 08 Mar 04, 20:01
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Thanks Mike... I was unaware of the newest edition. I can imagine some of the staples are touched on, but what were the more original/provoking counterfactual essays?
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Old 09 Mar 04, 09:05
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The 'oddities' in the American one were: What if there was no Watergate scandal (and how the American public would view politics different), the ACW goes guerilla when Lee refuses to surrender, the Mayflower landing at the James colony instead of on it's own in the Massachusetts bay area, the first time a Vice-President is 'promoted' to President, and the American Revolution never happens due to Penn(?) and a British moderate reconciling the colonists issues. Then there's the standard fare, Kennedy lives, Western Allies move on Berlin, Washington looses at Brooklyn Heights, ACW plans aren't lost.
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Old 10 Mar 04, 17:26
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Re: Stephen Ambrose?

Quote:
Originally posted by GhostSoldier
iago, what do you mean about Stephen Ambrose? I know he passed away last year. I've read a few of his books, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Is there a skeleton in his closet?
In regards to Stephen Ambrose, I thought many of his earlier books were quite good, but "Undaunted Courage" (Lewis & Clark) was, in my opinion rather droning and over-long. He takes four chapters to cover the life of Lewis, before even coming to his acquaintance with Jefferson. I simply could not make it through the entire book.
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Old 10 Mar 04, 17:52
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Re: Ambrose

Quote:
Originally posted by iago
Ghost Soldier... sorry I didn't get back sooner. In the months before Stephen Ambrose's death, a scandal erupted. He was charged with plagerism regarding excerpts from his books about the 8th AF and some of Citizen Soldiers. They were semi-truthful but no where as bad as some claimed them to be. His alleged plagerism was more descriptive... as if excerpted passages from letters sent home and used them to set the tone for weather, mood and other intangibles.
I thought him to be a great author as well, and enjoyed all his works I read.
I also think the accused plagerism was over blown. As great an author as he was, in the end his most important contribution to history may very well be the D-Day Museum in New Orleans that he helped create.
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