What Might Have Been?: Leading Historians on Twelve 'What Ifs' of History (Paperback)Andrew Roberts (author of introduction,editor)
A dozen star historians on what might have happened at history's turning points if the dice had fallen differently.
'Stimulating, provocative and playful' Literary Review
Throughout history, great and terrible events have often hinged upon luck. Andrew Roberts has asked a team of twelve leading historians and biographers what might have happened if major world events had gone differently? Each concentrating in the area in which they are a leading authority, historians as distinguished as Antonia Fraser (Gunpowder Plot), Norman Stone (Sarajevo 1914) and Anne Somerset (the Spanish Armada) consider: What if?
Robert Cowley demonstrates how nearly Britain won the American war of independence. Following her acclaimed GEORGIANA, Amanda Foreman muses on Lincoln's Northern States of America and Lord Palmerston's Great Britain going to war, as they so nearly did in 1861. Whether it's Stalin fleeing Moscow in 1941 (Simon Sebag Montefiore), or Napoleon not being forced to retreat from it in 1812 (Adam Zamoyski), the events covered here are important, world-changing ones.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 186 g
Dimensions: 198 x 176 x 16 mm
A gifted team of authors envisages alternative historical scenarios. As has become the custom of the genre, some of the contributors submit sober and measured assessments, while others spot a chance for playfulness * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH *
Roberts himself contributes both the best essay in the collection ... and an affable, perceptive introduction which he deploys to muse on the nature of such virtual historical projections * THE SCOTSMAN *
Andrew Roberts has recruited a dozen historians to pose, and answer, some of these What If, and some of their answers are as good as the questions * SPECTATOR *
All twelve essasy are good fun, and they will make the reader think - and that is, after all, what all good history, "factual" or "counterfactual", should be about * TLS *
The role that chance can play (in history) is well worth reasserting, and it is done here with much vigour and expertise * DAILY TELEGRAPH *
An intriguing and entertaining anthology * SUNDAY TIMES *
Buy the book and read it for fun * OBSERVER *
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN is a highly enjoyable read * SUNDAY BUSINESS POST *
Counterfactual history, when deployed as expertly as it is here, reminds us that what seems inevitable is actually often a matter of chance * MAIL ON SUNDAY *
The main object of these essays is to entertain, and they do so handsomely. This book is a hymn to the accidental and the erratic -- Philip Ziegler * DAILY TELEGRAPH *
Great fun. I enjoyed some of the chapters so much that I shouted praise for its frivolous merits at my television set when a young historian - arguing on Newsnight with my old friend Christopher Andrew - denounced the whole idea of 'alternative history' -- Roy Hattersley * OBSERVER *
Thought-provoking entertainment. * DAILY EXPRESS *
Antonia Fraser's essay stands out for its intelligence. * THE GUARDIAN *
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