From the master of alternate history comes an epic of the second Civil War. It was an epoch of glory and success, of disaster and despair. . . .
1881: A generation after the South won the Civil War, America writhed once more in the bloody throes of battle. Furious over the annexation of key Mexican territory, the United States declared total war against the Confederate States of America in 1881.
But this was a new kind of war, fought on a lawless frontier where the blue and gray battled not only each other but the Apache, the outlaw, the French, and the English. As Confederate General Stonewall Jackson again demonstrated his military expertise, the North struggled to find a leader who could prove his equal. In the Second War Between the States, the times, the stakes, and the battle lines had changed--and so would history. . .
It's 1881, in a world where the Confederacy won its independence at the Battle of Antietam in 1862. The United States declares war over the Confederate purchase of part of northern Mexico. The Confederate president is James Longstreet, its commanding general is Stonewall Jackson and the man assigned to direct the occupation of the territories is Jeb Stuart. The United States, on the other hand, has to cope with James G. Blaine as president, with generals whom few except Civil War buffs have ever heard of and with junior officers like George Armstrong Custer and an enthusiastic volunteer cavalry colonel named Theodore Roosevelt. With British and French support, the Confederacy wins this second war. Meanwhile, Frederick Douglass continues his fight for civil rights in the North and freedom in the South, and Abraham Lincoln slowly turns to socialism. The novel displays the compelling combination of rigorous historiography and robust storytelling that readers have come to expect from Turtledove, who once again deftly integrates surprising yet believable social, economic, military and political developments. Turtledove's America isn't the escapist fantasy of much alternate history. It's a darker, grimier world, in which much that we have taken for granted has vanished or will never arise save at a terrible price in blood. Its grim nature rings true, however, as Turtledove delivers his most gripping novel since 1992's The Guns of the South.
I've been reading a lot of alternate history lately, and this is by far the best thought out book I've read. I believe I may have read another from this author a few years ago. I will be reading another of his very soon.
Being from the south, I found that after this book I couldn't decide who's side I was on. I just started reading the last book of the Settling Accounts series, and it has become more and more difficult to root for both sides.
Loved every page