What if?: the world's foremost military historians imagine what might have been : essays, Volume 1

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G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1999 - History - 395 pages
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Historians and inquisitive laymen alike love to ponder the dramatic what-ifs of history. In these twenty never-before-published essays, some of the keenest minds of our time ask the big, tantalizing questions- Where might we be if history had not unfolded the way it did? Why, how, and when was our fortune made real? The answers are surprising, sometimes frightening, and always entertaining. David McCullough imagines George Washington's ignoble end at the hands of the British if he had not made his miraculous escape from Long Island under the cover of fog in the early-morning hours of August 29, 1776. Could this have been the end of the American Revolution? Writing about the Civil War, James M. McPherson suggests that General Robert E.Lee could have moved into Union territory and the ultimate crossroads- Gettysburg- and won it all in 1862, if only his Special Order No.191 had not been found and turned over to General George McClellan. Would the Union have been cleaved in half forever? Stephen Ambrose describes what might have happened if D-Day had failed. What if the storm enveloping the Normandy coast in 1944 had become worse on June 6?

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Review: What If? The World's Foremost Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (What If #1)

User Review  - Dale - Goodreads

What if...it were ALL written by top quality writers? The premise of this book is explained by the title. The "What ifs...?" range in time from the failed Assyrian siege of Jerusalem in 701 BC to an ... Read full review

Review: What If? The World's Foremost Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (What If #1)

User Review  - Kris Shearer - Goodreads

Great perspective on military history. With only a small change, how things might have changed. Read full review


Infectious Alternatives William H McNeill
No Glory That Was Greece Victor Davis Hanson
Conquest Denied Josiah Ober

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About the author (1999)

ROBERT COWLEY was the founding editor of "MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History" and served as its editor-in-chief for 10 years. He has edited such books as "The Experience of War" and "What If? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been" and co-edited "The Reader's Companion to Military History". He lives in Connecticut.

Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than 30 books. Among his "New York Times" best-sellers are: "Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, " and "Undaunted Courage".

He was not only a great author, but also a captivating speaker, with the unique ability to provide insight into the future by employing his profound knowledge of the past. His stories demonstrate how leaders use trust, friendship and shared experiences to work together and thrive during conflict and change. His philosophy about keeping an audience engaged is put best in his own words:

-->As I sit at my computer, or stand at the podium, I think of myself as sitting around the campfire after a day on the trail, telling stories that I hope will have the members of the audience, or the readers, leaning forward just a bit, wanting to know what happens next.-->

Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He was the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He was also a contributing editor for the "Quarterly Journal of Military History, " a member of the board of directors for American Rivers, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council Board.

His talents have not gone unnoticed by the film industry. Dr. Ambrose was the historical consultant for Steven Spielberg's movie Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks purchased the film rights to his books "Citizen Soldiers" and "Band of Brothers" to make the 13-hour HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.

He has also participated in numerous national television programs, including ones for the History Channel and "National Geographic.

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