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The Great War: Walk in Hell

Turtledove, Harry

ISBN 10: 0345405617 / ISBN 13: 9780345405616
Published by New York: Del Rey, 1999
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
From J. Jay Johnson, Bookseller (Great Falls, VA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Signed by the author on the title page, not on a tipped-in sheet or bookplate. No inscriptions, personalizations, or remainder marks. Bookseller Inventory # 128-35

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Great War: Walk in Hell

Publisher: New York: Del Rey

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition, First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

A stunning epic of humanity at war with itself, Harry Turtledove's Great War saga plunges us deeper into the war that began in Europe, then exploded with a vengeance onto American soil.

The world is convulsing. Germany has smashed its enemies: Austria, Denmark, and France, while the United States and the Confederate States of America charge headlong into the global conflict--as bitter enemies once again.

The year is 1915, and the time of darkness has come. Though the Confederacy has defeated its northern enemy twice in fifty years, this time the United States has allied with Prussia. In the South, the freed slaves, fueled by Marxist rhetoric and the bitterness of a racist nation, take up the weapons of the Bolshevik rebellion. Despite these advantages, the United States remains pinned between Canada and the C.S.A., so the bloody conflict continues and grows. Both presidents--Theodore Roosevelt of the Union and staunch Confederate Woodrow Wilson--are stubbornly determined to lead their nations to victory, at any cost.

While land and sea battles are fought around the globe, new killing tools--poison gas, submarines, attack planes, and tanks--are pressed into service. Heroism and fear run hand in hand as ordinary men and women--families, friends, and lovers--choose desperate measures just to survive.

From the trenches that line the Canadian border to occupied Salt Lake City, The Great War: Walk in Hell takes us to the American front, then into prisoner-of-war camps, strategy meetings, and cities roiling with unrest. Once again, Harry Turtledove--"the leading author of alternate history" (USA Today)--has created a gripping, visionary portrait of how, if history had but taken another path, our world would have launched into a much bloodier War to End All Wars.

Review:

Harry Turtledove marches on through history with The Great War: Walk in Hell. In his alternate timeline, the Confederate States of America won the Civil War, aided by Britain and France. In the 1880s (How Few Remain), Americans fought again after the CSA acquired parts of Mexico--and the CSA won again. When WWI begins with Archduke Ferdinand's assassination in 1914 (The Great War: American Front), the 34-state USA under Teddy Roosevelt allies with Imperial Germany and Austria against Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Canada, and Woodrow Wilson's CSA. Trenches divide Canada, fierce fighting rages from Tennessee and Kentucky into Pennsylvania, a Mormon uprising against the USA consumes Utah, and a black socialist rebellion distracts the CSA, where slavery has ended but blacks still await full citizenship.

Walk in Hell takes us from fall, 1915, through 1916. Soldiers, sailors, and airmen continue the fight, but much happens behind the lines too. Turtledove's characters include Jewish immigrants who are socialist and antiwar, a widow running a coffee house in CSA-occupied Washington, D.C., who passes information to the USA, and two Canadian farmers living under U.S. occupation in Quebec and Manitoba. He vividly conveys the human side of war. When Joe Hammerschmitt gets a shoulder wound in the Virginia trenches:

... pain warred with exultation on his long, thin face. Exultation won. 'Got me a hometowner, looks like,' he said happily. Half the men up there with him made sympathetic noises; the other half looked frankly jealous. Hammerschmitt was going to be out of the firing line for weeks, maybe months, to come, and they still risked not just death but horrible mutilation every day.

Some find Turtledove's cast too large, the story's action too slow. Others complain that Walk in Hell is too similar to his Worldwar series. Alternate history buffs, however, will marvel at his mastery of detail, enjoy following his logic as he pursues military and social developments onward in time, and find it hard to wait for the next in the series. --Nona Vero

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