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What If 2

Book Review

 

Title:

What If 2

Editor:

Robert Cowley

Publisher:

Berkley  Publishing Group, New York, NY

ISBN:

0-425-18613-X

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

July, 2002

Rating:

What If 2 is a book that examines the possibilities of changes in historical situations and the resulting impact on the outcome. This book is available as a paperback novel of about 450 pages, a hardcover edition, and  as an audiobook.

This novel is a collection of short stories by different prominent historians. Each scenario requires the authors to expound on eras of history that they have  specialized knowledge of. The stories first provide an overview of the events  leading up to the era, describe the changes that might have occurred to the key situation, and then analyze the resulting changes to the historical outcomes. Although this book is not about war per se, most of the situations that it examines are wartime events or the political climates before, during, or after conflict.

The stories cover a wide range of both time and geography, with scenarios from the Spartan era through modern times. A number of the stories examine the what-ifs of small changes in the First and Second World Wars. A short list of these include analyses of the Union's Civil War strategy, German U-Boat tactics in World War I, the absence of Churchill from English politics, and the survival of Hitler past the end of the war.

This should be the bible for any armchair quarterback of history. Each scenario  is well thought out, well written, and highlights the most likely possible alternate outcomes of the event. The broad scope of this book ensures that there will be something for everyone inside its pages.

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