- Series: Alternate Anthologies
- Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books (February 15, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812511921
- ISBN-13: 978-0812511925
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #982,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Alternate Presidents (Alternate Anthologies) Mass Market Paperback – February 15, 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
A couple of my favorite tales include Lawrence Watt-Evans' "Truth, Justice, and the American Way," about a horrifyingly right-wing world in which FDR never took the helm of America; "Fellow Americans" by Eileen Gunn, in which Goldwater won in 1964, and ended up using "small-scale" tactical nuclear weapons in Vietnam, and in which, for comic relief, Nixon mellowed out in the 60s to the point where he morphed into a hot-tubbing, LSD-experimenting, wildly successful comedic game show host in the 90s.
I think this volume is a really great idea. Most of the stories in it do have the effect of compelling the reader to hit the books, and learn more about the background of each tale. You just want to feel like you really "get" the context of each story.Read more ›
Good alternate history is rooted in plausibility in most cases, but even utterly implausible concepts can be entertaining if done well. There are strong stories in this book about very plausible alternate presidents (Thomas Dewey over FDR in 1944; Ford over Carter in 1976), but also fun ones about less likely presidents. For instance, there is no way Victoria Woodhull could have been elected in 1872, even if women suffrage had been enacted that early -- she was simply too radical. But the tale of President Woodhull in this volume is really entertaining.
Among the 28 alternate presidencies collected here are those of Ben Franklin, Aaron Burr, David Atchison, Samuel Tilden, William Jennings Bryan, Robert LaFollette, Huey Long, Adlai Stevenson, Barry Goldwater, and George McGovern. There are a few clunkers, but all in all, this is a book any AH fan -- or American political buff -- will love.
Sadly, something begins to happen around 1960. A great positive to this book is that all of the chapters are in historical order, looking at the changes a different president might have made in the march through history. Around 1960 however, the writing starts to seriously decline. It becomes slipshod, boring, and difficult to follow. The final story of Dukakis meeting aliens is simply inane, and has no place in an authentic alternative history anthology. And the chapter dealing with Ford's treatment of the Iranian Hostage Crisis is extremely racist with sterotypical portraits of Muslims and Iranians.
And yet, in the balance, with 28 different possible presidents, the anthology merits a 4.25, as most of the early stories are so excellently done, and worth the reading. Great men and women *can* make a difference in history. Sometimes it's a great shift in events, and sometimes simply a new colouring on events that were predestined in a thousand multiverses. This book can help us explore the varied meanings of our choices.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Alternate Presidents is a collection of 28 short stories edited by Mike Resnick, speculating on what history might have been like if the outcome of 28 presidential elections would... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Rule 62 Ken
I actually read this book in high school where it was in the library; I read it over Christmas Break and loved it! Read morePublished on August 27, 2013 by jhojnack
I love alternate history, but I would have never though of the alternate election outcomes like they did in this book! Read morePublished on July 29, 2013 by Amazon Customer
A fun read. I enjoy alternate history and this one was a good one. Well worth the time to read.Published on January 13, 2013 by Jimincent
A fun little run through various presidents. Some of the scenarios are more easily believable than others. Read morePublished on June 23, 2012 by lukemont
This will strike readers of this review as either ridiculous or hypocritical...I am VOCIFEROUSLY uninterested in politics. Read morePublished on February 25, 2006 by Coroner
I enjoy alternative histories but only those that make sense. For example, Harry Turtledove's novels leave me cold since they have such enormous world-shattering events yet the... Read morePublished on January 30, 2003 by Avid Reader