Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How Few Remain

by Harry Turtledove

I'm afraid I read this one out of order. Back last year, I happened to stumble across The Great War: American Front, which tells a tale of World War I in a world where the Confederate States of America is an actuality. The characters in the book referred, from time to time, about a second War between the States that had occurred in the 1880s and had served to create deeper divisions between the North and the South. I found myself wishing that I could also read that tale, foolishly unaware that it had already been written. How Few Remain is that tale, an enjoyable read in its own right. The year is 1881 and after almost 20 years of Democrats in the White House, the president is once again a Republican. He's itching to regain some lost glory, and when the Confederate States of America expand their territory by purchasing the states of Sonora and Chihuahua from Mexico, President Blaine considers it sufficient cause to start military action. The resulting war is told from the viewpoint of various characters. It's the same technique Mr. Turtledove uses in The Great War, but in this case, the featured characters are all famous characters from our own history--Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Clemens and a disgraced ex-president, Abraham Lincoln, among others. Mr. Turtledove does a good job breathing life into these characters, sending me to the Wikipedia to scope out what these people were really like. And, of course, also sending me to the bookstore to hunt down the subsequent titles in this alternate history epic.

I want this one on my shelf!
LibraryThing link

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