- Taschenbuch: 448 Seiten
- Verlag: Berkley; Auflage: Reprint (1. Oktober 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 042518613X
- ISBN-13: 978-0425186138
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 18 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,3 x 22,9 cm
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- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 17.878 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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What If? II: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Oktober 2002
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'Marvellously entertaining as well as thought-provoking - the finest intellectual parlour-game around.' Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
Concentrating on the crucial and the seemingly insignificant, this is a provocative look at the way our world could easily have been. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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The first volume summarized the events in detail and then gave you space for your own fantasy; it thus succeeded masterfully at being history document spiced with exciting never-to-be traces of history - I had a clear idea what I was reading and what to expect.
What If 2 is a confusing territory of genres for me. It gives less details on the history context and puts more emphasis on developing a "short" story on each of the topic. It seemed to me that some stories had almost literary ambition, for which it is still too much academic.
It was not a bad read, still some of the topics were more than intriguing, but my expectations based on reading the "What If 1" were not met.
That's what makes this book so disappointing: there is great potential, but it never lives up to its self-proclaiming goal of telling the reader "what if?" The background research is solid, and the authors in almost every instance make a cogent, educated case as to why history turned on a given moment or person. Unfortunately, in almost every instance they fail to follow up with any meaningful speculation. In fact, there are very few alternate scenarios that extend for more than a few paragraphs.
Considering how successful the first volume was in regards to alternate histories, this volume's lack of them is inexcusable. What else can the reader expect in a series entitled "What If?" than a detailed exploration of how our world could be different today. The only explanation I can think of is that counter-factual history is an immensely useful tool in political-military history, but it is less so (or at least less utilized) in social history. It therefore seems probable that many of the writers in this edition were unsure as to how to weave a different world after having identified their turning point.
At any rate, this isn't a terrible book, but it is pretty disappointing. As I have mentioned above, the research and writing are excellent. Furthermore the points of departure for are some of the most unique I've come across in alternate history. Unfortunately, the "what if" scenarios never really pan out, and as a result the book never lives up to its title. This book will get you thinking about some overlooked episodes in history, but it will, for the most part, be up to your imagination to supply the counterfactual.
It's simple. Take a historical event & create a plausible alternate outcome. Three examples stood out for me. What if the Allies had lost on D-Day? The Germans throw the invasion back into the sea? It could have happened. Does the U.S. give up & turn it's attention to Japan? Does FDR get reelected? Mushroom clouds over Europe in 1945?
Pontius Pilate pardons Jesus instead of condeming him to death. Chtistainity is changed. No salvation through Christ's death on the cross. No cross, the ultimate symbol of the faith. Jesus dies of old age, confused, a great prophet maybe, but not the savior.
The French win the Franco-Prussian War or even if that stupid little war nevers occurs, history could have been profoundly changed. The unification of Germany could have been slowed down. The German Empire might not ever existed. Without that, a little skirmish in 1914 Europe would never have become World WarI. Without World War I, no World WarII, no Communism, no cold war.
Create your own scenario. Some of the histrians realy get into the aftermaths of their stories. Others not so much so, leaving you clamoring for more. But the reader or listener, can fill in the blanks. There are no right or wrong answers because it never happened.