What If? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been
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A propos de cet article
Titre : What If? The World's Foremost Military ...
Éditeur : Putnam's
Date d'édition : 1999
Reliure : Soft cover
Etat du livre :Very Good
Etat de la jaquette : No Jacket
Signé : Signed by Author(s)
A propos de ce titre
Essays by Stephen E. Ambrose, John Keegan, David McCullough, James M. McPherson, and others
A fascinating collection of never-before-published essays on the great turning points in world history written by the most renowned historians at work today.
Historians and inquisitive laymen alike love to ponder the dramatic "what ifs" of history. In these twenty-two original essays, scholars ask the tantalizing question: Where might we be if history had not unfolded the way it did? Their answers are surprising, and sometimes frightening, but always entertaining.
David McCullough imagines George Washington's ignoble end at the hands of the British if he had not made his escape from Long Island in August 1776. Writing about the Civil War, James M. McPherson suggests General Robert E. Lee could have moved into Union territory and the ultimate crossroads-- Gettysburg--and won it all in 1862, if only his Special Order No. 191 had not been lost and turned over to General McClellan. Would the Union have been cleaved in half? Stephen Ambrose describes what might have happened if D-Day had failed. If the storm enveloping the Normandy coast in 1944 had become worse on June 6th, the invasion would have resulted in catastrophe.
Other essay topics include Alexander the Great's luck, the Spanish Armada's ill wind, Napoleon's overconfidence, Hirohito's missed opportunity, and Hitler's inflated ego. In addition to the twenty-two essays, fifteen "sidebars," or shorter pieces, cover even more "what ifs." Among the contributors are Stephen W. Sears, Thomas Fleming, Victor Davis Hanson, Lewis H. Lapham, William H. McNeill, Williamson Murray, Josiah Ober and Theodore K. Rabb.
edited by Robert Cowley
featuring maps and photographs throughout
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
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