What If?: Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been

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9780330487245: What If?: Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been

'Anyone interested in military history or indeed history in general will find it fascinating to read' - "Spectator". "What If?" is a collection of counterfactual essays dealing with military events. Concentrating on some of the most intriguing military history turning points of the last 3,000 years, twenty celebrated historians, including Alistair Horne and John Keegan, have come together to produce a group of essays that enhance our current understanding of decisive events. 'Pure, almost illicit pleasure. What makes these essays tremendously diverting is how little they strain one's sense of credibility' - Andrew Roberts, "Sunday Telegraph". 'These informed, elegant essays authoritively analyse incidents over the past 3,000 years' - "The Times". 'One of the delights of the book is that broad speculative analysis is built from a mass of exciting detail. This make for a top-class bed-side read' - "Financial Times".

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Review:

Counterfactuals--what-if scenarios--fueled countless bull sessions in smoke-filled dorm rooms in the 1960s. What if Sitting Bull had had a machine gun at Little Big Horn? What if Attila the Hun had had a time machine? What if Columbus had landed in India after all? Some of those dorm-room speculators grew up to be historians, and their generation (along with a few younger and older scholars) makes a strong showing in this anthology of essays, in which the what-ifs are substantially more plausible. What if Hitler had not attacked Russia when he did? He might have moved into the Middle East and secured the oil supplies the Third Reich so badly needed, helping it retain its power in Europe. What if D-Day had been a failure? The Soviet Union might have controlled all of Europe. What if Sennacherib had pressed the siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C.? Then the nascent, monotheistic Jewish religion might never have taken hold among the people of Judah--and the daughter religions of Christianity and Islam would never have been born.

So suggest some of the many first-rate contributors to this collection, which grew from a special issue of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History. One of them is classicist Josiah Ober, who suggests that if Alexander the Great had died at the age of 21 instead of 32, Greece would have been swallowed up by Persia and Rome, and the modern Western world would have a much different sensibility--and probably little idea of democratic government. Still other contributors are Stephen E. Ambrose, Caleb Carr, John Keegan, David McCullough, and James McPherson, who examine a range of scenarios populated by dozens of historical figures, including Sir Walter Raleigh, Chiang Kai-shek, Robert E. Lee, Benito Mussolini, and Themistocles. The result is a fascinating exercise in historical speculation, one that emphasizes the importance of accident and of roads not taken in the evolution of human societies across time. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Robert Cowley is the Editor-in-Chief of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History - the most popular history magazine in the United States. The authors are some of the best known British and American historians writing today.

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Book Description Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprints. Language: English . Brand New Book. Anyone interested in military history or indeed history in general will find it fascinating to read - Spectator . What If? is a collection of counterfactual essays dealing with military events. Concentrating on some of the most intriguing military history turning points of the last 3,000 years, twenty celebrated historians, including Alistair Horne and John Keegan, have come together to produce a group of essays that enhance our current understanding of decisive events. Pure, almost illicit pleasure. What makes these essays tremendously diverting is how little they strain one s sense of credibility - Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph . These informed, elegant essays authoritively analyse incidents over the past 3,000 years - The Times . One of the delights of the book is that broad speculative analysis is built from a mass of exciting detail. This make for a top-class bed-side read - Financial Times . Bookseller Inventory # AA79780330487245

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Book Description Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprints. Language: English . Brand New Book. Anyone interested in military history or indeed history in general will find it fascinating to read - Spectator . What If? is a collection of counterfactual essays dealing with military events. Concentrating on some of the most intriguing military history turning points of the last 3,000 years, twenty celebrated historians, including Alistair Horne and John Keegan, have come together to produce a group of essays that enhance our current understanding of decisive events. Pure, almost illicit pleasure. What makes these essays tremendously diverting is how little they strain one s sense of credibility - Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph . These informed, elegant essays authoritively analyse incidents over the past 3,000 years - The Times . One of the delights of the book is that broad speculative analysis is built from a mass of exciting detail. This make for a top-class bed-side read - Financial Times . Bookseller Inventory # AA79780330487245

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Book Description Pan Macmillan. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, What If?: Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been, Robert Cowley, 'Anyone interested in military history or indeed history in general will find it fascinating to read' - "Spectator". "What If?" is a collection of counterfactual essays dealing with military events. Concentrating on some of the most intriguing military history turning points of the last 3,000 years, twenty celebrated historians, including Alistair Horne and John Keegan, have come together to produce a group of essays that enhance our current understanding of decisive events. 'Pure, almost illicit pleasure. What makes these essays tremendously diverting is how little they strain one's sense of credibility' - Andrew Roberts, "Sunday Telegraph". 'These informed, elegant essays authoritively analyse incidents over the past 3,000 years' - "The Times". 'One of the delights of the book is that broad speculative analysis is built from a mass of exciting detail. This make for a top-class bed-side read' - "Financial Times". Bookseller Inventory # B9780330487245

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