Almost History: Close Calls, Plan B's, and Twists of Fate in America's Past

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Hyperion Books, Nov 14, 2001 - History - 304 pages
7 Reviews
Now in paperback, and in the tradition of the bestseller What If -- the events that narrowly missed becoming true history.

Throughout American history, many speeches and documents were prepared for events that might have happened, but never did: Eisenhower's personal note apologizing for the failure of D-Day; Lincoln's plans for post-Civil War Reconstruction; the CIA's memo discussing the use of Americans as guinea pigs in drug tests, among many others.

Almost History includes more than eighty selections, many supported by photographs of the actual documents, and each is introduced with the story of how they came to be and where they fit in our history. They are compiled here for the first time, by a deputy director of the National Archives, illustrating how close America came to defeat, disaster, and distress -- and providing chilling proof that history can change in an instant. For example:

--Eisenhower's apology for the failure of D-Day

--Nixon's speech informing the public that Apollo XI would not return to earth
--JFK's prepared address justifying the bombing of Cuba

Almost History has been featured in USA Today, the New York Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

This 2000 book consists of 81 two or three page accounts of incidents, or possible incidents, in American history. Most are of things I knew but some were not. I had never before heard that Nixon had ... Read full review

Review: Almost History: Close Calls, Plan B's, and Twists of Fate in America's Past

User Review  - John - Goodreads

An interesting read at some moments, but ultimately a bit of a let down for the fan of Uchronia. While pointing out some interesting documents, there aren't as many surprises (at least for me) and there's little to no ahistorical speculation to be had. Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Burns is the deputy executive director for the National Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives.

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