Background[ edit ] The stories imagine Alexander II of Russia was not assassinated in as in the current timeline. Instead, Theodore Roosevelt was reelected President of the United States as the Progressive Party candidate in , only to be assassinated on December 19, at the Chicago Union Stockyards by the sharpshooter and exhibition shooter Annie Oakley , before he took office, when personally breaking a labor strike with the help of the Rough Riders. Following this, his vice president, Charles Foster Kane takes power, and gradually leads the United States into greater levels of oppression, class division and bureaucratic incompetence and corruption — including an earlier entry into World War I in and the assassination of his rival candidate, Woodrow Wilson , during the election campaign. Debs gains increasing support, and soon the unrest has led to a Second American Revolution and Second American Civil War , following which Kane is ousted from the White House , overthrown, and executed for treason.
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But in this book, perhaps because of the geography the United States of America is, after all, much-much bigger than the comparatively tiny UK or Britain envisaged by Saki, in his "When William Came" or in the Anno Dracula books , the gallop never becomes canter. The way pop culture and history mixes into imagination to give it a pseudo credibility is also very good.
But it could have been great. Perhaps the authors would give it a new flourish, adding a few more taut novellas to the main body, when they hopefully re-release this book at some point of time. Other althist writers would have been strict in determining exactly how the 20th century would have turned out if the United States had gone communist at its start, but this team does not go for this "hard science Try to picture this: a communist United States!
Other althist writers would have been strict in determining exactly how the 20th century would have turned out if the United States had gone communist at its start, but this team does not go for this "hard science fiction" approach.
Oh, and France is China. Debs for Russian socialist leader Vladimir Lenin? Well, perhaps they just felt that predicting an actual alternate timeline was futile. Althist writing for the sake of considering an alternate timeline is mostly an exercise in interpreting our own history. Why not just have some fun with it? Speaking of which, they certainly seem to be enjoying themselves in the way that they reimagine historical figures in this timeline. More entertaining, at least for me, is the typical Newman trope of inserting fictional characters into the story.
All this is to say that the worldbuilding is quite excellent. It ends the book not with a bang, but with a whimper and some really weird imagery. Plus, the parts set during the war itself blend the first and superior half of Full Metal Jacket with the dark journey of Apocalypse Now. Makes me wonder what the Soviet equivalent was, if any. And who made Hannibal Lecter the head of the Department of Health?!
Newman applying his considerable skill to alternate history is incredibly fun. Ironically, it is true that the United States today, after the end of the Cold War, has become more Communistic than Russia now is.
Back in the USSA
Meziramar Certainly it is interesting to have very clear and identifiable events that occurred in both the real history and this fake one, but its hard to believe you could simply displace roles and transfer them to other nations like is done for much of the history in the book. Robert Taylor rated it it was amazing Jun 25, Hardcoverpages. Please help improve this article bafk adding citations to reliable sources. How would the United States look? Barry Hammock rated it it was amazing Dec 20, This one is a series of short stories set in a world where the USA, not Russia, underwent a communist revolution. Newman applying his considerable skill to alternate history is incredibly fun. Alternative history or slipstream or whatever, idea is absolutely brilliant.