Synopses & Reviews
"The book of the year for any history lover." (Kirkus Reviews on What If?)
There is no surer way to make history come alive than to contemplate those moments when the world's future-the government and wealth of nations, the faith and culture of generations-hung in the balance. In this volume, many of our brightest historians speculate about some of history's intriguing crossroads and the ways in which our lives may have been changed for the better-or the worse. The twenty-seven original essays range across the full span of history. Victor Davis Hanson imagines a drastically altered development of Western philosophy if Socrates had died on the battlefield at Delium. Writing about the Reformation and an early death of Martin Luther, Geoffrey Parker describes a world without the Protestant Church. John Lukacs proposes that Theodore Roosevelt might have ended the First World War-if he had been renominated for president in 1912. Geoffrey Ward reminds us of Franklin D. Roosevelt's good fortune in both his choice of a wife and in his narrow escape from an assassin's bullet in 1933. James Bradley describes the defense by a band of soldiers that may have saved Australia in 1942 and had a dramatic effect on the eventual Japanese defeat in the Pacific. And Caleb Carr argues that we could have been spared the horrific last six months of World War II had Eisenhower seized his chance to destroy the Nazis in the fall of 1944.
The list of illustrious contributors includes Lance Morrow, Theodore K. Rabb, Alistair Horne, James Chace, Tom Wicker, Andrew Roberts, Josiah Ober, and others.
Edited by Robert Cowley.