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American Front (Great War #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,951 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
This is first part of the Great War trilogy and the third volume in Harry Turtledove's epic alternative history of the USA, in which the South is victorious in the American Civil War. The story began with The Guns of the South, continues How Few Remain and goes on in Turtledove's American Empire and Settling Accounts sequences.
Paperback, 660 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by New English Library Ltd (first published May 12th 1998)
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Aug 10, 2010 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I may include spoilers, so if you're planning to read the book (let's face it; you're not), consider yourself forewarned.

First recall that we're talking about an alternate history where the South won the Civil War with the help of England and France. This book takes us to 1914, where World War I is starting. It's England, France, Russia and the Confederates (the "Quadruple Entente") versus the US, Germany, and presumably Austria and the Ottoman Empire. (If the latter two get a mention, it's very
Mar 27, 2014 Hillary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as thoroughly awesome as How Few Remain, the first in this series, but quite engaging. The First World War affects the USA and CSA as something of a continuation of the Civil War, here - it seemed they were just waiting for an excuse to start fighting again, and they fell into war again with vigor. The author's refusal to take sides is interesting as well. I was also fascinated by the way alliances fell out in this version of history - very plausible given the events of How Few Remain, but i ...more
Jonathan Lee
Jan 21, 2017 Jonathan Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was hooked after reading the previous novel, "How Few Remain", and knew I had to continue with this series. It didn't serve as a prequel, but added some context and familiarity that I appreciated. This book had me flipping page after page, and I burned through it in just about a week or so. The third-person multiple POV is a bit confusing, but once I got each character straight, I loved seeing so many different experiences and lives during the war. A really thought-provoking and interesting re ...more
Oct 08, 2009 Bryce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turtledove is great at describing the endless tedium and frustration of war; he attacks it from all sides and perspectives, building a complete picture. If you're interested in the big and little picture of war and political events, this is great. If not, the reader bores quickly.
eric quinn
May 07, 2017 eric quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A part of the How few remain Alternate History world....really really good.
Mar 14, 2017 Everett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good follow up to How Few Remain. Turtledove is a master at alternative history.
Chen-song Qin
This is the second book in the TL-191 series and the first in the American Front trilogy.

The world of "How Few Remain" is now experiencing its equivalent of World War I. The tensions in Europe played out in the same way as in our world, and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Serbia triggered war on an unprecedented scale. However, in North America things are completely different. The fourth member of the Quadruple Entente, the Confederate States of America (the other three being England,
Reza Amiri Praramadhan
More fictional than historical compared with the first book in the Southern Victory series, reading this novel is like following sets of characters in a circular manner, with all of them in different kind of backgrounds and situations. Since this is the first of the series don't expect too much heat from this book. Probably going to continue with the next in line later.
Alternate history novels based on a Confederate victory in the Civil War are not new, in fact Harry Turtledove has stated that his inspiration this Great War series came from a magazine article written by MacKinlay Kantor. What sets The Great War: American Front apart is its scope.

Half the fun of alternate history fiction is the intellectual exercise of wondering how life would be different if something in the past has changed. Here, in light of the CSA victory related in the previous novel, "H
Jul 23, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of alternate history
Shelves: 2011
This is the first book of Harry Turtledove's Great War (alternate WWI) trilogy, and second book overall in what is known as the "Southern Victory" series. This book follows "How Few Remains", which introduces an alternate 1880s where due to one single small changed event, the Confederacy was able to force the Union's hand early in the Civil War, found allies with England and France (and consequently, Canada) and formed a divided America. The CSA's desire to purchase Pacific Mexican states caused ...more
May 21, 2008 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any history buff
Recommended to Wayne by: Chris Dear
Shelves: fiction
This is a continuation of Harry Turtledove's book How Few Remain. The Confederacy won the Civil war and the Second Mexican War. It is now 1914, Archduke Ferdinand has been assasinated. The great countries of Europe explode into war and the USA and CSA line up with their allies. The USA with Germany and the CSA with Britain, France, Russia, and Canada. The war quickly bogs down into trench warfare and vast casualties on both sides. The USA, like Germany, has two fronts, one with the CSA and one ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Kb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
American Front picks up about 20 years after How Few Remain leaves off. Certain characters have since died but continue to influence plot development. Other characters have grown and taken on greater importance. This novel has less to do with the geopolitical side of war as it does the personal. The focus shifts between about 6 or 7 different perspectives, from a farmer in Manitoba to a US soldier on the Virginia front to a young, wealthy woman who owns a plantation outside of Charleston, SC, a ...more
Gary Letham
Jun 18, 2016 Gary Letham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book two of The Southern Victory series jumps from the Second Mexican War of 1881/82 to 1914. The United States are now officially allied with Germany as the Great War breaks out. They have enemies on two fronts, Canada to the north and the CSA to the south. The USA is this time prepared with equipment, men and strategy. Unlike the first book the story is told from the point of view of ordinary participants rather than the famous ones previously. Turtledove not only covers the military aspects, ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It was a decent concept and the plot was interesting, but at the end of the day, meh.

It's an alternative history. The idea is the South wins the Civil War because McClellan never gets his little tidbit of Lee's plans at Antietam. Britain and France end up allies of the CSA, which means the US goes ally shopping and lands as part of the German/Austro-Hungarian alliance. That's all decently plausible.

The trouble is the format. The point of view jumps around about 20 different people, none of whom
Sean Mcculloch
Jan 17, 2011 Sean Mcculloch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sequel to "How Few Remain", and unilke that book, it shows the point of views of regular people (instead of famous ones like Abe Lincoln) are dealing with the events in the book. Famous people are still around (Woodrow Wilson is president of the South, Teddy Roosevelt in the north), but you see them from an external perspective. I kind of liked that- it made it a little easier to suspend my disbelief- I don't have to ask myself questions like "Would Lincoln really be thinking that wa ...more
The other John
There are plenty alternate history tales based on the South winning the Civil War. The ones I have read usually deal with thus and such battle or focus on the war itself. This book, however, looks at what might have happened fifty years later. The year is 1914. Archduke Ferdinand has been assassinated in Sarajevo, and the nations of Europe are busy declaring war on each other. The Confederate States of America honors it's alliance with England and France and declares war on the Central Powers. U ...more
This is the second part of Harry Turtledove’s ‘Timeline-191’ series. Following The USA’s defeat at the hands of the Confederacy, Britain and France in the Second Mexican War in ‘How Few Remain’ the United States allies with Germany. Meanwhile the Confederacy continues its good relations with Britain and France. As such, when World War 1 breaks out the United States, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and the Confederacy, under President Woodrow Wilson are once again at war. The book is filled w ...more
Oleksiy Kononov
Jul 16, 2012 Oleksiy Kononov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sequel to How Few Remain. Summer 1914, hostilities between the US and CSA continue, Europe breaks into WWI. The US, being in alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, has to declare war on the CSA and Canada, an American war theater has been open.
A remarkable masterpiece of alternate history. Turtledove used a lot real WWI details by simply shifting them to North America. Gas attacks, seize fire during Xmas 1914, non-stop development of new airplanes, war gear... My only criticism is in the dev
Apr 02, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always mulled over these ideas of alternate histories. What would have happened if Pickett never charged? What if Napoleon didn't fall for Waterloo? What if Hitler never got syphilis and had all of his mental faculties, or was even awake, on D-Day?

This book was a great and fun read not only to see what WWI would've been like in North America, but what America with a threatening border enemy would be like in the 1900's. The variety of stories following along in it also reminded me quite a bi
Mar 21, 2014 Ross rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a review of the whole "Great War" Trilogy.

Harry Turtledove, often billed as the "Master of alternate history," delivers a comprehensive and engaging version of WWI in which the Civil War was won by the CSA, and the USA sides with Germany.

His in-the-trenches perspective of the major changes in how wars were fought is dramatic and accurate. From the introduction of chemical warfare, airplanes, tanks, and submarines to the rise of communism, the evolution of espionage, and the dramatic chan
I was finally able to get into it toward the end. Of the three Turtledove books I read, it was by all means my LEAST favorite. I enjoy science fiction writers' who have interesting ideas about history and politics and the way they work. That's why I enjoyed Guns of the South and How Few Remain so much. There was less of that in this novel, which had a large component of military scenes which frankly bored me. (I'm the kind of guy who skipped over Tom Clancy's action scenes and focused on the bac ...more
Tony duncan
I had mixed feelings about this while reading, but was mostly won over. Great character detail; and really believable scenario's with everyday people who are caught up in WW1, with the key factor being that The South Won the Civil war and they are each allied with opposite factions. the US with France German, Japan, (And assume Russia), and US with Germany Austria (and Assume Ottoman).
Some elements I did NOT believe. the institutionalized brutality of northern soldier, their use of WMD's and NA
I am so fascinated by the idea of this series... but this was a bit of a slog as a read. So much of the book is about the nitty-gritty details of how trench warfare was done, that the (more interesting, IMHO) stuff about overall strategy and how and why things are happening is relegated to a very secondary role. I didn't even come away with a very clear picture of when and how "The Great War" started in the Americas (although that could be my own fault because I tend to skim over sections that a ...more
Alexander Seifert
I love the First World War. "Love" in the sense that I find it fascinating and worthy of so much attention and study (just stating that so no one thinks I love people being machinegunned or getting trench foot).

Turtledove manages to capture that spirit of pre-1914 adulation across Europe and transplant it to his divided America. From there, he manages to tell the story in three great volumes about a trench war being fought in Northern Virginia and Kentucky and a frontier war in the West.

It's all
Pål Bakka
Nov 12, 2012 Pål Bakka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five stars for the way he conceptualizes the CSA. But only two for his military history. Turtledove does not seem to understand how the late 19th Century conscript, mobilization army worked. If the USA had "gone Prussian" it would have had a real General Staff system, which is apparently absent from the field armies, and a neat system of higher formations (divisions, corps, armies) in peacetime. Whichmeans that the highest rank in the army would have had to be a full general. Custer would have b ...more
Ryan Mccormick
Mar 31, 2013 Ryan Mccormick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed this book, the premise is very good and I found it highly entertaining. The historical plausibility is relatively good (the author doesn't consider large extenuating circumstances that a separate America would have one the world as a whole, but it makes a much better story since some amount of continuity with the real historical events allows the reader to better relate to the story. Overall I would highly recommend this to any lover of history (especially military history) who ...more
Mike Grady
Nov 06, 2012 Mike Grady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010s
The Great War: American front is the first book of the Great War Trilogy within the Southern Victory Series. This book centers on the United States and the expanded Confederate States entry into World War I. As with most Harry Turtledove books, this entry contains several fascinating "what ifs" that are all plausibly presented within the story. While the story is understandably complex, it is told through several characters placed throughout the theater. Unfortunately, I did find some of the cha ...more
Ron Horner
This is a continuation of Turtledove's series that re-imagines how world history could have played out had the CSA won the Civil War. This book tells the story of how the USA and the CSA become enbroiled in the First World War as they come to aid of their closest allies, Germany and Britian respectivly.

The story evolves through the eyes of a number of different individuals on both sides of the conflict spread across the North American continent. One of the things that I enjoyed most about this b
Dec 05, 2011 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't really care that for "How Few Remain" the book that preceded this in Harry Turtledove's alternate timeline, but I kept on because alternate history novels are an interest of mine. Unfortunately, I did not think that this was much better than "How Few Remain".

Too many of the characters were uninteresting and the way Turtledove wrote the story just made the entire Great War from the American perspective dull. It also didn't help that the European front is not even broached. I get that he w
Jul 06, 2013 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
This is classic Harry Turtledove novel.

He has an interesting premise - the Confederacy won and became a new nation. they had the help of Britain and France who continued to support the new nation. The now smaller USA allies with Germany.

Head to 1914 and the outbreak of WW1. The USA is fighting with the Germans and against the Confederates, Canada, Britain and France...

He has a lot of characters from all sides - in the beginning it's hard to keep them all straight. Good alternate history from the
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What He Left out of the Whole Series 1 11 Mar 01, 2014 08:59PM  
  • The Two Georges
  • 1901
  • Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History
  • Designated Targets (Axis of Time, #2)
  • Stars and Stripes Forever (Stars and Stripes, #1)
  • The Peshawar Lancers
  • For Want of a Nail: If Burgoyne had won at Saratoga
  • 1812: The Rivers of War (Trail of Glory, #1)
  • Alternate Presidents
  • Hitler Victorious: Eleven Stories of the German Victory in World War II
Dr Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, who has produced a sizeable number of works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.

Harry Turtledove attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977.

Turtledove has been dubbed "The Master of Alternate History". Within this genre he is known both for creating original sce
More about Harry Turtledove...

Other Books in the Series

Great War (3 books)
  • Walk in Hell (Great War, #2)
  • Breakthroughs (The Great War, #3)

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