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Democracy's Missing Arsenal Paperback – September 10, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

...King and Bredehoft expertly plot the effects of the South's victory in the Civil War. **** A flawless blending of actual and potential events, aided by an engaging narrator. Selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Top 100 Indie Books of 2013

Review

“Lincoln and Seward knew that the American Civil War mattered not just for America: its outcome would affect world history. In this fascinating, thought-provoking narrative, King and Bredehoft explore how world history would have changed if the South had won.” –Walter B. Stahr, author of Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man and John Jay

“The Arsenal may be missing, but the intellectual firepower of King and Bredehoft cannot be denied. This is the kind of book that makes people think what they do of Harvard men.” –Hon. Danny J. Boggs, Judge and former Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

“Epic stuff. HBO or Showtime kind of stuff. Part history, part chutzpah. The audacious theme of this unsettling book – larger than the domino effect of a Southern victory in the Civil War – is the absurdity of seeing anything as inevitable, least of all the manifest destiny of the United States. Bredehoft and King are confident and audacious storytellers, who know way too much about history to be dismissed as mere fantasists. In their hands ‘what might have been’ becomes fascinating, terrifying and all-too-plausibly real.” –Chris Keyser, President, Writers Guild of America West, Golden-Globe-Award Winning writer and producer of “Party of Five” and “Sisters”

“The most provocative page-turner you will read all year. In this alternative history, read how Lee’s victory at Gettysburg led to the South’s conquest of Cuba, the World War of 1898 and the Royal Navy’s bombardment of New York. These two are masters of history and of storytelling.” –Professor Jonathan Wiener, Duke University, past president of the Society for Risk Analysis and author of Risk vs. Risk and The Reality of Precaution

“For those who still suspect that Amelia Earhart killed the Lindbergh baby, this is an indispensable book. The rest of you are on your own.” –Professor John Q. Barrett, St. John’s University, editor of the papers of U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg War Crimes prosecutor Robert Jackson, the author of That Man: An Insider Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Product Details

  • Series: Democracy's Missing Arsenal
  • Paperback: 588 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1484100948
  • ISBN-13: 978-1484100943
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Democracy's Missing Arsenal is an impressive work of alternate history.

It is amazingly well researched.

It is extraordinarily well thought out.

It should be on the must-read list for anyone who is interested in the question `What would have happened if The South had won The War.'

The authors' motivation for writing this book is based on their disagreement with a piece of speculative fiction written by Winston Churchill in 1931.

Churchill supposed that a southern victory in the war would have triggered an arms race and all manner of rivalry between the two North American Republics, which in turn would have provided the British Empire with the opportunity to arbitrate a mutually beneficial accommodation between the contesting powers, which in turn would have led to the (re)establishment of an almighty Anglo-Saxon triumvirate whose combined powers would be of so great a magnitude as to establish it as the undisputed, benevolent leader of the world, to which all of mankind would defer, and in the process do away with World War One and other such unfortunate errors.

King and Bredehoft beg to differ.

Their basic premise is that the resulting division of the United States into two mutually hostile antagonists would have had the effect of blowing up The Monroe Doctrine, and in its stead speed up and expand the spread of the deadly entanglements known as the European Great Power Alliance System , resulting in the outbreak of a much different, and ultimately much more deadly series of World Wars, which begin in 1898.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael King and John Bredehoft have launched a magisterial project to explore the consequences of a Confederate victory in the American Civil War. By not allowing the orders that Robert E. Lee had written out for his invasion of Maryland in 1862 to fall into the hands of Union General George McClellan, the authors produce a scenario where McClellan is soundly defeated by Lee at Antietam and again at Gettysburg, thus forcing the North to grant the rebellious Confederates their independence.

K&B are hardly the first to come up with an alternate history that produces a Confederate Victory in the American Civil War, but they are certainly the most ambitious. This is counterfactual history on the grandest scale, replete with three world wars (and many lesser conflicts), gigantic battles on land and sea that keep you on the edge of your seat as ships sink and artillery shells crash all around you, and a cast of internationally known characters that are familiar to anyone with even the most causal knowledge of world history. All of this is recounted by the one famous personage not identified by K&B; a former president of the United States who is writing his memoirs by candlelight amid a nuclear holocaust in 1963. Simply put, this is compelling and imaginative alternate history skillfully written and carefully researched by two lawyers who know how to argue their case.

That said, I must add a word or two of warning. This is not a book that can be quietly read over a weekend. While it is written in a very relaxed – almost conversational – style, which I find makes for very way reading, our president-narrator has a penchant for detail combined with a tendency to go off on historical tangents that at times can be maddening.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this book, one wonders whether the actual history is plausible. Cigar wrapped in secret plans indeed!

This book rests on a foundation of exhaustive knowledge of history and weaves a plausible alternative history - as plausible or more plausible than what happened. The authors season their tale with wit and insights about history couched in terms of their alternative scenario.

A must read for afficianados of alternative history but also a great read for folks who just love to read history.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The author looks at how the world would have developed had the South won the Civil War early in the game and kept the institution of slavery. One can (and many will) argue about whether the book details THE path the world would take, and of course some can always quibble with the details. However, I found his description intriguing, well thought out and believable.

I will definitely buy the next volume when it comes out.
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