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Bring the Jubilee

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,597 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Alternate cover edition can be found here.

A classic Alternate History story - the first to ask 'What if the South had won the Civil War?' Selected as one of David Pringle's 100 Best SF Novels.
Paperback, SF Masterworks, 194 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Orion Publishing Group (first published 1953)
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Apr 02, 2017 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Bring The Jubilee is about, well... imagine that the Confederacy won the American Civil War and… hey! Why are you backing away? Wait! I promise not to talk about McClellan and the Army of the Potomac! Trust me - this is a good book!

OK, for those of you who are still reading this review, I don’t blame you if you are put off by the Southern civil war victory that underpins the setting of Ward Moore’s book. In the age of Trump the nasty debates going on around flying confederate flags, the resurgen
5.0 stars. THE BEST ALTERNATIVE HISTORY/TIME TRAVEL STORY I HAVE EVER READ!!!! This book has been on my "to be read" pile for years and I did not have overly high expectations when I finally opened the book. Well, I was blown away by both the writing and the story.

In brief, the plot concerns an alternate history in which the South won the Battle of Gettysburg and, eventually, the Civil War. Thus the story takes place in a world where the Confederate States of America is a separate, prosperous c
Mar 15, 2014 Stuart rated it really liked it
Bring the Jubilee: A brilliant alternative history where the South prevailed
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Bring the Jubilee is a fairly obscure alternate-history story published in 1953 in which the South won the "War for Southron Independence". In this world, Robert E. Lee succeeds Jefferson Davis as the second president of the Confederacy in 1865. The Confederacy steadily expands its empire through Mexico and South America. Its chief rival is the German Union, which splits control of
Jun 04, 2009 Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-masterworks, sf
What a wonderful surprise this was. Ok, my expectations should have been high starting another book in the SF Masterworks series but I hadn't heard much talk of this author and wasn't overly bowled over by the premise. This is an alternative history story, what might have happened if the south had won the American civil war.

The speculations are themselves quite interesting, The American north becoming impoverished and backward, allowing the European colonial powers to carry on dominating the wor
Sean Smart
Sep 08, 2013 Sean Smart rated it liked it
An interesting novel based on the idea and in the world where the South won the American Civil War and how America would look and how this affects the rest of the world.
Feb 12, 2012 Skyring rated it really liked it
I read this years ago, when I devoured the whole corpus of SF. I enjoyed it then, and when I picked it up again after decades on the shelf, I was surge I'd like it even more.

I now know a great deal more about America and I've been to Gettysburg. I'm not entirely sure that possessing Little Round Top would have swung the whole war, but it would certainly have changed the entire tone of the battle if Lee had secured it on the first day.

But we don't get there for a long while. Moore takes his time,
Jun 06, 2010 Brian rated it liked it
An alternate history tale in which the South won the Civil War. The main part of the story takes place some 60 years after the war and the United States (just the North) has fallen into disarray after its disastrous loss to the South. I found this part of the book fascinating, with interesting speculation on how the state of the world changes if the United States breaks up (if a bit outlandish at times).

(view spoiler)
This book is quite good. While it is dated and the characters are rather flat, the setting was just awesome. Granted, I don’t really believe the Northern states would have been the ones suffering had the South separated – the North had far more industrialization and most trade ports; the South only had a few major exports and a lower population. And had they continued with slavery, major trade countries such as a Britain would have eventually stopped trading with them entirely. The North also bo ...more
Jul 10, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
This is a time travel book, published in the 1950s, and often mentioned as one of the greatest works of science fiction ever written. I admit to being underwhelmed, although--perhaps--that author's idea was seminal at the time he wrote this story.

The main character, Hodge, lives in an America where the South won the Civil War, and the North is an underdeveloped, economically depressed, powerless nation of poverty, crime, ignorance, and hopelessness. Hodge becomes a historian and travels back thr
Trenton Hayes
Dec 16, 2013 Trenton Hayes rated it it was amazing
Wow. Here is a gem I never knew. What a strange, sad, logically consistent world Moore builds here, redolent of chance, regret and disjunction. I think perhaps The man in High Castle owes this book a considerable debt.

This story considers the hoary trope 'what if the south won the war?' not only before most of the other well known treatments of the subject (Guns of the South, etc), but in a emmersive and engaging way. The sad defeated United States--disemboweled and at the mercy of the other gre
David R.
Aug 04, 2009 David R. rated it it was amazing
A haunting contrafactual. The time travel device is, of course, mere nonsense. But the story is marvelous: the South won the War Between the States, and from the wreckage of a banana republic North comes a young scholar who gets a chance to experience the pivotal moment of that war, and who makes a single but critical error in judgment.
Dec 11, 2016 Joel rated it it was amazing
An excellent alternative history novel that inspired "The Man in the High Castle." The North lost the Civil War and the "26 States" are weak, impoverished and behind. Electricity and the car have not been invented in the 1950's. The main character is a historian who is able to time travel back to the pivotal moment of the Civil War and change history. I found this to be real page turner.
Feb 15, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This is one of the short stories that I read in "The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century". It was well-written and well-imagined. The best of all of the alternate history stories in the book. There is a lot of philosophy and it rambles on for quite a while before getting into the meat of the story, but it was still really good.
Erik Graff
Apr 23, 2010 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: alternate history fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
This is the best alternate history of the civil war books I've ever read and one of the best, and earliest, alternative history books in general.
May 05, 2017 4triplezed rated it it was amazing
Excellent Alternate History / Time travel short story.
Sep 07, 2015 Thom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Bring the Jubilee is told in two parts, entirely from the perspective of Hodgins "Hodge" Backmaker, citizen an alternate timeline United States. As a reader and historian, Hodge ponders many facts about the timeline - the Confederate states won the war and thrived afterward, the former United States stagnated, and the German Union won the Emperor's War (1914-1916).

In the first section of the book, Hodge leaves home and has adventures. Much is revealed about his character and some of the politica
Oct 11, 2013 Jeremy rated it really liked it
This was an unexpected pleasure of a find for me. Written back in the 50's this book seemingly is way ahead of its time. An alternate history, time travel, with steam punk elements story, that should do well with readers today. Though I don't think many people know of it.

We follow our main character Hodge, a history buff, in a world without need of such a thing. He struggles with needing more from life and sets off from his home in Wappingers Falls, NY to New York City. But this NYC is much diff
Fantasy Literature
May 22, 2015 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
Ward Moore’s Bring the Jubilee is a fairly obscure alternate-history story published in 1953 in which the South won the "War for Southron Independence." In this world, Robert E. Lee succeeds Jefferson Davis as the second president of the Confederacy in 1865. The Confederacy steadily expands its empire through Mexico and South America. Its chief rival is the German Union, which splits control of Europe with the Spanish Empire. In response, the Confederacy has allied with Great Britain, creating t ...more
Jul 20, 2011 angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: usa-usa-usa
The first alt history book? Perhaps. Proto-steampunk? Fo' sho'.

Ward Moore relates a tale of an alternative reality 1950s USA, where, 90 years ago, the Union lost the Civil War and now a divided North America struggles to get by. The industrialized North has decayed into a decrepit, poverty-stricken smogfest (hence the steampunk), while the South/CSA is put-putting along with slavery and agricultural stuff. Protagonist is a bookish history student who wins a scholarship to study at a fancy Dead
Oct 23, 2012 lanalang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh...chissà perché ero un po' prevenuta verso questo libro, avevo il sospetto che fosse noioso. Forse dopo aver letto qualche recensione, chissà...E invece è stata una lettura molto, molto gradevole, interessante, colta, e pure avvincente in una maniera particolare, sobria ed elegante direi.
Ward Moore scriveva davvero bene, sono contenta di aver scoperto questo scrittore.
Consigliatissimo, soprattutto agli amanti del genere ucronico.
Couldn't get into it despite the awesome premise. Where's the plot? Hodgin lives in a vanquished North, land of sharecroppers, squalid poverty and a seething resentment of bitter defeat and what-could-have-beens.

Was taking much too longfor Shit To Happen, but perhaps the atmosphere is the be-all, end-all for this particular story - and I just don't have the patience.
Kris McCracken
Mar 21, 2013 Kris McCracken rated it really liked it
A long-considered classic of alternate history, this novel envisages a world in which the Confederacy win the American Civil War, and then serves up a rather large twist in the final quarter. Interestingly, Moore chooses to do so through the eyes of the archetypal “passive hero.” I liked it. B.
May 26, 2017 Jeffrey rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2010 John rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gregg Wingo
May 01, 2017 Gregg Wingo rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the founding work of alternative history science fiction, "Bring the Jubilee" inspired works such as Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" and Terry Bisson's "Fire on the Mountain". All of these novels allow us to reflect on our historical situation by placing us within an alternative historical record. Like all good science fiction we end up catching a glimpse of our current lives in a mirror darkly as disturbing as any funhouse reflection.

Mr. Moore transposes the revolutionary
May 05, 2015 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting novel. I've wanted to read this science fiction classic for some time. The beginning of the book paints a quite dreary picture of a New York and environs in a world where the Confederacy won the American Civil War and the north essentially fell into ruin and decay and back into a colonial state. The novel appeared in 1953, having been expanded from a renowned novella from 1952. This is a world where the combustion engine was never invented. Nor the telephone and many other inventions ...more
Apr 01, 2012 Don rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Alternative history story, about how the world might have turned out if the Confederates has won the American Civil War. The answer is that the USA would have been arrested at 26 states in a condition of poverty and chronic underdevelopment. The CSA would have expanded southwards to take control of Mexico and emerge as a world power.

Hodge Backmaker escapes rural poverty to travel to a New York which, in the 1920, though the biggest city in the USA, is a cultural and economic backwater with gasli
Shane Moore
Jan 13, 2012 Shane Moore rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Civil War Buffs
Recommended to Shane by: Phillip K. Dick
What would the 1950's have been like in a world where the US lost the Civil War?

Ward Moore's "Bring the Jubilee" tells the story of an introverted man's search for a meaningful life in a gaslit, steam-powered, 3rd-World United States.

This book is an expanded version of a short story published in 1952, and that detail is apparent. You can see the padding necessary to make it novel-length; the plot drags in places, and the story meanders toward its conclusion through slow side-plots. Some of the e
Kenneth Buff
Dec 22, 2014 Kenneth Buff rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. There was bit toward the end of the book that seemed to meander, but really Moore is building stakes for the ending. I had a lot of fun reading this, trying to decipher what had happened to the rest of the world since the United States had lost the Civil War. Because this book is narrated by someone who has only lived in a world where the Confederacy won, he can't tell us what's different, he only tells us what is, so it's up to the reader to determine if Germany won ...more
Jun 06, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs?
Recommended to Jeff by: Pringle's 100 Best SF Novels
Shelves: science-fiction
I once hung out with a woman who constantly misunderstood me and vice versa. We could not clearly communicate, even when we each thought we were speaking plainly. Ward Moore and i might have the same problem. I've only ever been willing to take half the blame for the real life communication breakdown, but i'll assume it all in this case for being a careless reader.

Did Moore choose a narrator who couldn't understand the characters he interacted with? Is Hodgins Backmaker inevitably confusing? Is
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Joseph Ward Moore was born in Madison, New Jersey and raised in Montreal and New York City.

His first novel was published in 1942 and included some autobiographical elements. He wrote not only books but reviews and articles for magazines and newspapers.

In early 50s, he became book review editor of Frontier and started to write regularly for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. His most fam
More about Ward Moore...

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“Why should you believe your eyes? You were given eyes to see with, not to believe with. Your eyes can see the mirage, the hallucination as easily as the actual scenery.” 1699 likes
“One of the most pernicious of folk-sayings is, 'I cannot believe my eyes!' Why particularly should you believe your eyes? You were given eyes to see with, not to believe with. Believe your mind, your intuition, your reason, your emotion if you like - but not your eyes unaided by any of these interpreters. Your eyes can see the mirage, the hallucination, as easily as the actual scenery.” 7 likes
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