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Stars and Stripes in Peril: Stars and Stripes Book 2 by [Harrison, Harry]
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Stars and Stripes in Peril: Stars and Stripes Book 2 Kindle Edition

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Length: 330 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

Harry Harrison has been publishing science fiction for half a century; this novel appears in 2000, the year of his 75th birthday. His 1998 Stars and Stripes Forever was a foray into alternative history at the time of the U.S. Civil War. An opportunistic British invasion is so badly bungled that it unites warring Union and Confederate forces against the common enemy, and the course of events is rousingly changed.

Now it's 1863 and perfidious Albion is making a comeback via the Pacific, establishing a Mexican beachhead and planning attacks on united America's "soft underbelly" in the Gulf of Mexico. Gurkha and Sepoy troops build roads while sweaty white officers express nostalgia for England: "I despair of ever seeing her blissfully cold and fog-shrouded shores again."

An early coup of misdirection makes the British advance seem unstoppable--but America forges ahead with new guns and naval armor, and General Robert E. Lee devises an audacious counterblow. What better way to disrupt Britain's wicked schemes than to strike at her own rebellious province of Ireland?

Harrison, an American, perhaps overdoes the lofty dignity of figures like Abraham Lincoln, while showing British politicians with their full complement of warts. But the breathless, headlong action sweeps you away as the battle is planned and at last joined. Even hardened English patriots will feel a sense of wish-fulfillment at the possibility that America may solve the "Irish Question" for them. This is a rapid-paced, slightly slapdash, and unfailingly energetic adventure in alternate history--all great fun. --David Langford,

From the Inside Flap

?The New York Times Book Review

In the midst of Civil War, a stunned North and South join forces to combat a sudden attack of British troops. Though the Americans are victorious, three years later a new threat emerges. Her Majesty?s Army is massing for a possible attack through Texas. Into the gauntlet Lincoln sends his chosen angel of death, General Ulysses S. Grant?while his top soldiers, including Robert E. Lee and William Tecumseh Sherman, plan the most daring naval invasion ever launched: an assault on British soil itself.

Stars and Stripes in Peril is the new masterwork from one of the world?s most provocative authors. Venturing beyond a fascinating question of what if? Harry Harrison brilliantly examines the people and passions that make up nations both great and small?and shows how technology and politics had the power to shape history?s first great World War . . . half a century before it began . . .

"Lovers of novels of alternate history hold Harry Harrison in high regard and his latest book can only enhance that esteem."
?Abilene Reporter News

Product Details

  • File Size: 938 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway (September 29, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 29, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005LB9BIK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,833,591 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Stars & Stripes in Peril" is Harry Harrison's novel of alternate history in which the British declare war on the United States over the Trent affair. Somehow the British not only end up attacking the Confederate port of Biloxi, they also rape and pillage the Southern town, which results in Union General Sherman deciding to join with Confederate General Beauregard in repelling the invaders. Of course, this fanciful excess is only an excuse to bring the North and South together so Harrison can lay out how "modern" weapons and the blitzkrieg tactics of Germany in 1936 could have been used in 1863 by the Americans to liberate Ireland. To appreciate this novel you must have above average knowledge of the Civil War. For example, you need to recognize the significance of Ralph Semmes serving as Captain of the U.S.S. Virginia, with its twin turrets designed by John Erickson, each housing two large Parrott breech-loading cannons. Harrison certainly does not have time to explain much beyond briefly identifying the various players as this book is more of an elaborate sketch than a full-fledged novel. Lincoln, Lee and the rest of the players are presented as caricatures. Because he is the Father of Modern Warfare, Sherman leads the American Armies, assisted by Lee and Jackson during the invasion of Ireland while Grant is laying siege to a key British port down in Mexico, but you do not get a sense for the true nature of any of these characters. In fact, both Jefferson Davis and Queen Victoria are presented in extremely unflattering fashions.
Ultimately these characters are but chess pieces, moved about by Harrison who is obviously more concerned with the invents in his giant game of "what if.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read both "Stars and Stripes Forever" and "Stars and Stripes in Peril", I must say Harry Harrison's second volume in his alternate history trilogy is certainly better than the first book. Much of what was wrong with the first book is not present in the second text, and "Peril" definitely has more to offer in terms of entertainmen value. However, "Peril" also from many of the same flaws that plagued "Forever", and is still far from perfect.
The valid complaints of implausibility that were aimed at "Forever" probably won't be directed at "Peril". Harrison pretty well established his divergence in "Forever"(as clumsily as that was), and "Peril" simply picks up in the new history that Harrison has created. Harrison begins "Peril" with a brief recap of the events of "Forever" in the form of a "memoir" by General Sherman, introducing new readers as well as reminding old readers.
Harrison is also very effective at keeping the action in one self-contained book. Though it is the second book in a trilogy, there are really no dangling plotlines that a reader will be plagued by until the next book.
Further, Harrrison's plot is extremely entertaining overall. Britain, still steaming over her loss in the first novel, plans to attack the U.S. through Mexico. At the same time, the U.S. is still dealing with several unresolved issues of the brief War Between the States, as the South is forced to adjust to the emancipation of the slaves,a more low-key analog to Radical Reconstrucion in our time line. With British invasion seemingly unavoidable, America looks to take the war to England's backyard.
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By A Customer on February 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is more of a commentary on both books in the series to date, but I'll focus on Peril for the sake of relevance. Up until recently, most of my alternate history experience has been limited to Turtledove, who, although he overlooks many small points about causality, paints a picture of an interesting and fairly believable world.
Then, I began reading the S&S series, expecting an informative development to an interesting idea (Britain attacking the U.S. during the Civil War). It was a total letdown. I have never read any of Mr. Harrison's works previous to this, but I do not feel any particular desire to now.
He portrays every character in one-dimensional descriptions, based along the lines of U.S. = good, everyone else = bad. He doesn't even take the time to develop any of the non-U.S.-and-allied characters beyond their immediate motives relating to the war and their own pompous convictions, regardless of what kind of person they were in reality. Though I know little about the actual Queen Victoria, I am more than a little suspicious that she did slightly more than scream at bad news and throw incessant fits.
Likewise, the lack of real development of civil issues in the reunified U.S., primarily the treatment of freed slaves, was irritating. That most people would practically ignore the existance of a problem save for philosophical argument is almost mind-boggling, and the section dealing with a negro teacher in Mississippi is resolved with impossible simplicity. Why no social backlash? It wasn't even mentioned again, and given the magnitude of what happened it could easily have sparked major riots at the very least.
Finally, issues abroad.
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