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For Want of a Nail... av R Sobel
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For Want of a Nail... (urspr publ 1973; utgåvan 1973)

av R Sobel

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1654125,851 (3.69)8
For Want of a Nail is an alternate history classic. The outcome of one battle in the American Revolution diverges from reality, and sparks an unstoppable chain of events which affects the history of the whole North American continent. In reality, the British general John Burgoyne, heavily outnumbered by American troops, surrendered his army to General Horatio Gates at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, a major turning-point of the Revolution. Robert Sobel takes a step sideways and presents the alternative version: reinforcements arrive at Saratoga, Gates' men flee, and Burgoyne is victorious. Rather than openly allying itself with the American rebels, France withdraws its support, as does Spain, and the colonies surrender. Those former rebels who refuse to live in the Confederation of North America established by the British leave their homes and settle in what becomes the United States of Mexico. From then on the two continental nations find themselves constant rivals, locked in military, political and economic conflict. Sobel provides a detailed, intricately documented insight into two warring powers that develop in such dramatically different ways from their shared origins.… (mer)
Medlem:DrGarry
Titel:For Want of a Nail...
Författare:R Sobel
Info:Macmillan
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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For Want of a Nail av Robert Sobel (1973)

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engelska (3)  franska (1)  Alla språk (4)
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Over the past few decades, alternate history has emerged as an increasingly popular sub-genre of science fiction. Through it, an ever-growing number of authors and fans have postulated the different turns that history might have taken, often because of relatively minor circumstances. Most writers use this to establish a divergent setting for fictional works, in which characters come to terms with the very different worlds that emerged as a result.

In this respect Robert Sobel offers something different. Rather than develop an alternate history setting for a work of fiction, he created something far more elaborate – a thoroughly articulated timeline of events resulting from a British victory in the Battle of Saratoga. From it, he envisages an American Revolution that ends in a British victory and the emergence of two different countries – the British-spawned Confederation of North America and a separate state founded by the surviving revolutionaries that evolves into the United States of Mexico.

In developing his alternate world, Sobel presents it in the form of a “nonfiction” text rather than that of a novel. This is a considerable undertaking; instead of simply drafting a setting, he has to develop an increasingly intricate sequence of events, all of which must be plausible in explaining broader developments that took place over the following two centuries. Adding to the challenge is that he does this within the context of a narrative “history” without the benefit of the novelist’s devices of character and dialogue to maintain the reader’s interest.

All of this makes Sobel’s achievement an impressive one. Not only does he present a plausible and fully realized alternative to the history with which readers will be familiar, he does so in a way that can keep a reader’s attention. In many respects, it reads as a satire of a true nonfiction work, complete with footnotes citing nonexistent books and fake disputes between academics who never lived. It serves as just one more strata of a richly-layered work, one that may not be as exciting of a read as the works of authors like Harry Turtledove but one that can envelop the reader in a way that few other works of the genre are able. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
1274. For Want of a Nail . . . If Burgoyne Had Won at Saratoga, by Robert Sobel (25 May 1974) This book is written telling what would happen if Burgoyne had won at Saratoga in 1777. It changes the whole world--none of the persons of today are around. I read it rather skimmingly because it is all nonsense. ( )
  Schmerguls | Mar 9, 2009 |
"For Want Of A Nail" est clairement un livre à part dans le monde de l'uchronie : ici pas de roman, pas d'histoire, pas de personnages principaux, d'intrigue, mais plutôt l'Histoire, politique, économique et militaire du continent américain (et dans une certaine mesure du monde) si la révolution américaine avait échouée. Le travail remarquable de l'auteur se réalise tout de suite : il faut vraiment y croire pour inventer une bibliographie uchronique sur laquelle le livre est censé avoir été écrit ! Un travail remarquable sur la forme. Sur le fond, j'ai eu des fois des doutes sur les conclusions auxquelles arrivait l'auteur, sans doute aussi en tant qu'européen je ne peux pas saisir toutes les nuances de l'ouvrage. Mais globalement j'ai vu deux choses extrêmement intéressante : l'échec des révolutions du XVIIIème siècle dans le livre se font sentir à l'orée du XXème notamment sur les libertés, j'ai trouvé cet aspect des choses particulièrement bien traité. J'ai cru aussi déceler dans la Conféderation Nord Américaine et les Etats-Unis du Mexique les deux tendances des Etats-Unis que nous connaissons : isolationnisme et progrès raisonné d'un côté, expansionnisme et audace outrancière de l'autre. Un livre très intéressant au final, mais qui n'est pas un roman et qui ne se lit pas non plus comme tel... ( )
  FoM | Oct 18, 2008 |
Spins out all of modern American history after Burgoyne's 1777 victory, right down to 1969. The starting premise is improbable enough (Clinton moves up river to relieve Burgoyne), but it gets sillier with each passing decade - e.g.:
1) The capital of North Amerca would NOT have been placed in Pittsburgh, not without mechanized transportation. (Ever try to GET to Pittsburgh?)
2) Slavery - the issue that broke the Union - is resolved peacefully a few pages dealing with the 1840s: the solution is simply to buy out the slavers.
3) Despite the entirely different world economy and consequent differing set of global powers, a parallel "WWII" is fought in the 1940s anyway.

And so forth.

Obsessively detailed, but increasingly loopy and unconnected from reality as the years roll by; well before the second half of the 19th century, you're reading pure fantasy that has been pretty arbitrarily determined.

In short: a necessary landmark in the genre, but essentially unreadable. ( )
2 rösta AsYouKnow_Bob | Aug 9, 2007 |
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What many historians call "modern times" began in 1763, when Great Britain forced the French coalition to accept a humiliating peace at Paris, thus ending the Seven Years' War and initiating the Pax Britannica.
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For Want of a Nail is an alternate history classic. The outcome of one battle in the American Revolution diverges from reality, and sparks an unstoppable chain of events which affects the history of the whole North American continent. In reality, the British general John Burgoyne, heavily outnumbered by American troops, surrendered his army to General Horatio Gates at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, a major turning-point of the Revolution. Robert Sobel takes a step sideways and presents the alternative version: reinforcements arrive at Saratoga, Gates' men flee, and Burgoyne is victorious. Rather than openly allying itself with the American rebels, France withdraws its support, as does Spain, and the colonies surrender. Those former rebels who refuse to live in the Confederation of North America established by the British leave their homes and settle in what becomes the United States of Mexico. From then on the two continental nations find themselves constant rivals, locked in military, political and economic conflict. Sobel provides a detailed, intricately documented insight into two warring powers that develop in such dramatically different ways from their shared origins.

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