Cover image for What if? 2 : eminent historians imagine what might have been : essays
Title:
What if? 2 : eminent historians imagine what might have been : essays
Author:
Bradley, James, 1954-
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
xvii, 427 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Socrates dies at Delium, 424 B.C. / Victor Davis Hanson -- Not by a nose : the triumph of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium, 31 B.C. / Josiah Ober -- Pontius Pilate spares Jesus / Carlos M.N. Eire -- Repulse at Hastings, October 14, 1066 / Cecelia Holland -- The Chinese discovery of the New World, 15th century / Theodore F. Cook, Jr. -- Martin Luther burns at the stake, 1521 / Geoffrey Parker -- If Charles I had not left Whitehall, August 1641 / Theodore K. Rabb -- Napoléon's invasion of North America / Thomas Fleming --If Lincoln had not freed the slaves / Tom Wicker -- France turns the other cheek, July 1870 / Alistair Horne -- The election of Theodore Roosevelt, 1912 / John Lukacs -- The Great War torpedoed / Robert L. O'Connell -- No Finland Station / George Feifer -- The luck of Franklin Delano Roosevelt / Geoffrey C. Ward -- The War of 1938 / Williamson Murray -- Prime Minister Halifax / Andrew Roberts -- The boys who saved Australia, 1942 / James Bradley -- Enigma uncracked / David Kahn -- Pius XII protests the Holocaust / Robert Katz -- VE Day--November 11, 1944 / Caleb Carr -- The Führer in the dock / Roger Spiller -- No bomb--no end / Richard B. Frank -- The presidency of Henry Wallace / James Chace -- A tale of three congressmen, 1948 / Lance Morrow -- What if Pizarro had not found potatoes in Peru? / William H. McNeill.
ISBN:
9780399147951
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A second collection of essays on the vital turning points in world history, written by our most respected historians and presented by the editor of What If? TM


Author Notes

Robert Cowley is the founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History , which was nominated for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Cowley has held several senior positions in book and magazine publishing.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like its predecessor (also edited by Cowley), this is an engrossing collection of essays on counterfactual history. Each contributor examines a pivotal event, then considers the ramifications had the event come out differently. In some cases the ramifications are so monumental that their effects are more obvious than intriguing. For example, if Socrates had died in battle during the Peloponnesian War, Victor Davis Hanson suggests, democracy, Christianity and Western thought as a whole would be radically different. Similarly, had Pontius Pilate pardoned Jesus the book's most fascinating premise Christianity would have developed in entirely new directions, according to Carlos M.N. Eire. Other essays depend, to diminished effect, on nonevents, such as Theodore F. Cook Jr. explaining what the incredible Chinese navy would have accomplished in the Atlantic and the New World had the Ming emperors not turned inwards. Most authors, however, have teased out some incredibly tiny detail in history and demonstrated how that one stitch holds the whole fabric together. Most notably, Robert L. O'Connell explains how one bureaucrat may have kept Germany from winning WWI by hindering a program of unrestricted submarine warfare. James Bradley writes about a ragtag group of Australian soldiers during WWII who held back thousands of well-trained Japanese forces on the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea and by this Thermopylae-like action prevented the enemy from taking Port Moresby and, thus, Australia; had the defenders failed, "the entire calculus of the Pacific War" would have changed. And Robert Katz explores what would have happened had Pius XII protested the Holocaust, which he twice had a chance to do. Cowley has put together another fun book, although his introductions to each essay give away too much of the game. Illus. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved