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Thursday, May 18, 2006

What If History

"Way back when in '67, I was the dandy of Gamma Chi..." as begins "Hey 19" by Steely Dan.

I was 12 then and would take my 2 weeks allowance of $4 and browse the book section of a local candy store for 2 hours until I finally chose 3 or 4 books to bring home. I still have the Dostyevsky paperback of "The Possessed" from then. It cost 75 cents.

Now as an adult I do the same thing even though I have an unlimited source of money through credit. However, with a mortgage and 2 young children, i still hunt for book bargains.

I must tell all of you that Borders has for $9.99 a large hardcover of "What If". I just began reading it and it is a page turner. It is a collection of alternate history essays written by many eminent historians. They look at important battles or moments and surmise how the world may have turned out had the outcome changed. Many important moments of history turned on issues like weather and dumb luck.

I recommend this purchase to all.

2 Comments:

At 9:24 AM, Blogger francois said...

I have What If 2 and although it posed intriguing questions, the authors of the essays rarely attempt to give you a definitive answer to the what if questions.

One of the most intriguing was "Hitler in the dock". What the Nuremburg trials would have been like had Hitler been captured alive.

Although I think we're getting a pretty good idea with the Saddam trial.

 
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