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American Empire: Blood & Iron Mass Market Paperback – June 25, 2002

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American Empire: Blood & Iron + The Center Cannot Hold (American Empire, Book Two) (Southern Victory: American Empire) + The Victorious Opposition (American Empire, Book Three) (Southern Victory: American Empire)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nobody plays the what-if game of alternative history better than Turtledove, especially when he has a large-scale subject and when he's working close enough to the present for readers to appreciate his detailed analyses of how familiar events might have turned out differently. His massive trilogy, The Great War, described how WWI might have been fought on an Earth where the Confederacy was still an independent nation. This follow-up novel begins by showing postwar life. Teddy Roosevelt is president; however, the Socialist Party gives the establishment serious competition, as veterans question the society they fought to save, and Upton Sinclair challenges TR in the election of 1920. Meanwhile, in the humiliated and bankrupt Confederate states, an angry racist with a gift of demagoguery whips up violent mobs and aims them at his enemies. Readers will recognize some of the names, but watching historical processes in action is the novel's real attraction. Knowing what happened in our timeline, readers will want to imagine the results of different choices. Sometimes, luck and willingness to compromise can resolve conflicts. On the other hand, the Southern Hitler may have his way. It depends on how well people make sense of the situations facing them. Turtledove's introduction carries over a cast of 16 varied characters from The Great War. Not all survive, but readers will be curious to see how the rest go on to cope with new challenges. This book begins a panoramic story, a new trilogy at least, that promises to be immensely fascinating. 5-city author tour; on-sale date July 31.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Turtledove's Great War series morphs into the American Empire series. The U.S and imperial Germany have imposed a "blood and iron" peace on Britain, France, Russia, and the Confederacy. On the western front, the Confederacy struggles to overcome defeat, dissension, and Weimar-level inflation, and the U.S. labors to stay on top of things and prepare for the next round of combat. Indomitable, muddleheaded General Custer has his sails trimmed by the election of Socialist Upton Sinclair as president in 1920, which also makes Turtledove's creation, Flora Hamburger, the wife of the vice-president. In the Confederacy, former artillery sergeant Jake Featherstone founds the Freedom Party. His road to power turns rocky after the crackbrained assassination of President Wade Hampton V, but Ann Colleton escapes the subsequent Freedom Party debacle only slightly damaged and loses her stormy lover when the widow of one of his victims shoots him. Cincinnatus Driver leaves Ohio for the better racial climate of Iowa, and Scipio, married and now named Xerxes, learns that no matter which whites win in the Confederacy, the black man almost always loses. Turtledove's skill at dramatizing historical forces proves magisterial once more. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Southern Victory: American Empire (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (June 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345405668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345405661
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on April 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have to qualify my non-recommendation here. If you are a fan of alternate history, you may like this book. Turtledove is the master of alternate history, and this entire series is a very interesting one. If you don't mind Turtledove's writing, then you may enjoy it as well. It can take great effort to get past his writing sometimes, but usually the plot makes up for it. This time, it doesn't, not unless you've already invested some time in the series. If this is your first Turtledove, stay away. It's not hard to understand what's going on without reading the previous books, but this book could very well turn you away from his books if you begin with it.
American Empire: Blood & Iron, is yet another chapter in the ongoing alternate history saga by Harry Turtledove. In this series, the Confederates won the Civil War, they faced off again with the United States in the 1880s, and they fought again during World War I. The United States was allied with Germany, while the Confederates were allied with Britain, France, and Canada.
Blood & Iron is the first book after the war, detailing what's happening in both countries in the post-war era. The Confederacy is going through a situation similar to what Germany went through in the real world: massive inflation, unemployment, great poverty, reparations payments. A Hitler-like figure, Jake Featherston, is gaining popularity with his anti-black and anti-government party. He speaks out about how the Confederacy was stabbed in the back by its politicians and that's how they lost the war. Meanwhile, in the North, the Socialist party has come to power, very much like post-war Britain. The North has suffered a bit of war-weariness, and that enabled the Socialists to take over.
This brings to mind the first of this books many missteps.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ben Margulies on August 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've enjoyed Dr. Trutledove's Worldwar series thus far, and really enjoyed this installment. Here we see the political and economic consequences of the war, which I find more interesting than the actual battle scenes. But I must echo some of the complaints other reviewers have made. First, Turtledove once again largely ignores Europe, leaving us little idea as to what is going on there. How large is the German Empire now? What happened to Belgium, and, more importantly, to Russia. (You would think that American Socialists like Flora Hamburger would be more interested in the Bolshevik Revolution, if indeed that is what has occurred). What about the French and British empires overseas? A world map would be useful, and some election figures (so the Socialists have a majority- of how much?) Second, a few of the characters were rather boring. Lucien Galtier and Morrell had very little to do (and Galtier never speaks of his new country; is Quebec really that unintersting?). The book needed more politics. Third, I am concerned that Turtledove may simply be repeating our own history in an alternate setting, a fear raised by other critics which I find most distressing. If this is true, than the rise of Featherston and the Freedom Party is inevitable; a new War, almost exactly like our WWII, will occur. Turtledove should take more liberties with his timeline. For example, he could have Featherston assume power in a coup, a la Mussolini, rather than a long series of accumulated electoral victories. He could have a new European crisis (the Austro-Hungarian Empire could collapse, for example; even victory wouldn't help it much- and the same could easily go for the Ottomans). He could even pit the U.S. and Germany against each other, a concept he himself suggested in the last chapter of Blood and Iron- a shift in alliances like the 18th-century Diplomatic Revolution. OF course, whatever he does, I'll be sure to buy his next book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Greg Hopper on August 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Harry Turtledove continues his sprawling saga of the Confederate Nation in the aftermath of defeat. Prices are rising as the currency devalues, the old way of life is fading fast as the CSA must pay reparations to the USA. All of our characters return, as they try and rebuild their lives following the war; Jake Featherston builds his Freedom Party to restore the CSA, along with the help of Anne Colleton and Roger Kimball in an eerie parrallel of Nazism. While the Confederates try to rebuild, Flora Hamburger and the Socialists try and wrest power away from Teddy Roosevelt and the Democrats to salvage a USA wracked with labor strife, while the soldiers of the war desperately try and hang on to the strength that helped them win. There is little war in this novel, but Turtledove sets the stage for a WWII pitting CSA vs USA in a most interesting way. As we end the book, Featherston is considering ways to spread his message of hatred via radio broadcast, and there are tantalizing hints of former Confederates fighting in various wars in South America (think Spain in the early 30's) who are bringing information about barrels (tanks) and other techniques of war home for future use. That Turtledove will make Featherston his Confederate Hitler is a foregone conclusion, but it remains to be seen how the next war will play out as there is little info in this book as the state of the Confederacie's allies, England, France and Japan, and there are hints that the USA doesn't exactly trust the German allies that helped them win. I said it after Breakthroughs, and I'll say it again, DAMN! I wish he would write faster!!!!! One year plus is a looooong time to wait between books when they are this well written!
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