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Blood & Iron (American Empire #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,934 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Now that the Great War Trilogy is done, what new torments will the United States confront? Can the country conquer the patriotic zeal of Canadian nationalists? Can it cope with the hateful forces unleashed by the devastated area that was once the great Confederacy? With American Empire the master of alternative history begins a new sequence of perilous confrontations. Migh ...more
ebook, 480 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jul 06, 2009 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I realized only in the middle of this that, while it's part 1 of a trilogy, it's also really book 7 of a 9 book set. So I was a little lost for a bit, but was eventually after to figure out exactly what was going on.

What Turtledove's done with this series is set up an alternate history of the United States; one in which the Confederate States of America won the US Civil War, and were able to establish themselves as a significant political and economic force.

This series, specifically, starts a li
This is the first book of a trilogy that's actually the middle trilogy of a 9 book Series. Think of it as "The New Hope: Ep 4".
The series is the "Timeline 191", in which the South wins the Civil War, and battles the North in WW1 and WW2.
This book takes place after the Great War. The US beats the Confederacy, and imposes sanctions and reparations, similar to what happened to Germany after WW1.
It sets the stage for a tyrannical ruler in the South, and a nationalistic fever which leads to the WW2.
Holden Attradies
This series continues to be as captivating as ever. I would say this volume of the series was even better than the previous, which kind of felt like it was dragging on a bit there at the end of the war.

It was pretty mesmerizing in a horrifying way to see the watch the Freedom parties shooting star. It was also amazing to see how easily that star was knocked back down to earth. If not for the fact that once before I had read the next few books in this series (they weren't all released when I rea
Jan 08, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll start off by saying that this is actually the second time I have tried to read this book.

When I was in high school and early college I completed Turtledove's Great War series. Naturally reading Blood and Iron and the rest of the American Empire series would be a given. However, I hit a bit of stumbling block. When I started ready B&I, the authors structure for his chapters threw me off (even though the GW novels were similar). The long chapters became and issue and I tabled the book.

The other John
Why am I reading this book? This is the first volume of the American Empire trilogy, which is the sequel to The Great War trilogy, which is a sequel to How Few Remain. I think that makes it the fifth volume of a 11 or so volume series. (Did I mention the trilogy or whateverlogy that follows American Empire?) What can I say? Mr. Turtledove has created some interesting characters and he hasn't killed them all off yet. So we have Blood & Iron. The Great War is over and folks are dealing with th ...more
Jun 10, 2013 Jonathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has some interesting ideas and some fantastically bad writing. The events described in this alternate time line are interesting, even if they are blatantly near exact historical parallels with different countries names slapped on them. He does a fine job of ripping of other histories and retooling them that the blatant parallelism works and is interesting.

What doesn't work is this man's writing. This has some of the absolute worst dialog I have ever read. All of his characters have no
Steven Saunders
I loved the creative premise and realism. I am quite disappointed, however, because I just couldn't get into it. I got about 100 pages into it and read about too many different loosely connected characters. I was waiting for the story to take me somewhere but it just seemed to be working up to something- it took too long. I was looking at it as a chore to read, which made me stop reading it. Too many characters. The story was non-linear:it was all over the place. I love Robert Conroy's alternati ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Marc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a bit of trepidation about reading this book. After all, I had recently finished the author's Great War Series and since this one didn't figure to have much in the way of combat, I thought it might be boring.

I was wrong.

Once again Turtledove lured me in with his great characters and plot. Watching how both the USA and CSA start to develop after the Great War was very entertaining and I definitely want more. There are obvious parallells between the CSA and Nazi Germany, so I can't wait to
Edward Smith
Aug 03, 2011 Edward Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Timeline-191, and American Empire was interesting in that the trilogy would be the first in the series which there wouldn't be full blown war in the plot. Some things I really thought were great, like the Black Socialist republics mirroring the failed communist uprisings in the Weimar Republic. Other things really bothered me. I didn't like Jake Featherston, and I really felt like Turtledove was forcing a Hitler on the reader.

American Empire's pacing is slow, and combined with Turtledove
Alexander Seifert
Nov 21, 2014 Alexander Seifert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second trilogy of Turtledove's Timeline-191 series isn't too shabby. It tells of the inter-war years, which means he can't rely so much on talking about people smoking or being shelled or complaining about how much the generals are idiots.

Even so, it starts to get tiresome after a while. A few of the characters, however, shine through and continue to do so. While it was predictable, I greatly enjoyed Jake Featherson and his party's rise to power in the disillusioned, 'backstabbed' CSA.
Tim Basuino
Mar 15, 2014 Tim Basuino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd probably give this about 3.7 stars... one of his best I've read to date. Ironically, it is also the first one for which there is not a war between the USA and CSA. Turtledove dives a bit more into the storylines of the characters of this book, and does quite a bit of development with the Southerners, particularly Jake Featherston. He still has an issue with beating us senseless with certain points - we really don't need to hear anymore that Nellie Semproch is embarrassed about her past - the ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Kb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without a World War going on, the narrative turns much more political, which I find much more interesting. Bloody battle scenes tend to get repetitive, so there was nothing to tune out in this installment. Also, as the narrative develops, many of the different characters from among the two sides and from different parts of the country are beginning to cross paths with one another, sometimes by chance, sometimes in a calculated way. In doing so, Turtledove masterfully marries the epic and the per ...more
Michael Thompson
This series by Turtledove takes place between the first and second world wars. As a result, there's really no military action (which makes this series considerably duller than the Great War series and the series after this one). That said, Turtledove explores some pretty interesting ideas: How would a defeated/humiliated South behave? Would a charismatic, Hitler-like man rise to a leadership position in the South? How would a Northern occupation of Kentucky play out? Would the North resort to a ...more
Oct 08, 2011 Mr.B rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The second volume of a trilogy. Turtledove is a good writer of alternative histories, but he seems to always do something that I hate--namely, his books are always massive epics with casts of hundreds of characters, whose individual story plots are doled out in soap-opera fashion, one short bit at a time. Two, three, or four separate plot threads at the same time--okay, I can handle it. But dozens of plot threads at the same time? Go back to Creative Writing 101, Turtledove!
Jan 28, 2016 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really like the idea of the alternate history in this book (and in the rest of the series), but when I actually pick up one of these books to read it, it becomes an exercise in perseverance, rather than an effortless page turner! The characters are well-rounded and I could relate to them; I think, though, that themes and plots in the book seem to take forever to come to fruition.
Sara Edquist
It's an interesting idea, but ultimately fell flat. He follows many characters, some of which I found myself wondering why? He has few female characters and most are poorly developed and weak. I know that this is just the first in a trilogy and is probably setting the stage for the rest of the series, but it didn't grab me enough to want to read the rest.
May 20, 2008 T.J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history geeks
This is my favourite in Harry Turtledove's startlingly ambitious alternate history Southern Victory series, where an independent Confederacy allies itself with Britain and France and changes subsequent global history.

It's a fast read and amusing for its tongue-in-cheek anachronisms and clever phrasing. Good work.
Sep 28, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alt-history
I heart this paper bound thing!

In all seriousness this is a must read for any alt-history fan. The similarities between Turtledoves characters and real historical figures is joy for any history fan! The fact that he can create a fiction novel that to the reader could be actual history shows why he is the leader in this genre!
Gene Komaromi
An action thriller set in an alternate world where the U.S. Civil War never ended and the U.S. was allied with Germany in "The great War". The book presents an alternate history in great detail, experienced by multi-dimensional characters.

The book seems to drag on waiting for a sequel or the next book in the series.
Bryan Bridges
Sep 11, 2016 Bryan Bridges rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Continuing to enjoy Turtledove's alternative history series. Some of the plots (there are multiple that sometimes overlap) seem to be forced and unnecessary, like the Jacobs and Galtier storylines, but the rest were splendid.
Robert Shultz
Sep 10, 2007 Robert Shultz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the newest trilogy ("American Empire") in Turtledove's alternate history where the South won the Civil War, which chronologically follows immediately after his World War I series.
Oleksiy Kononov
Apr 15, 2014 Oleksiy Kononov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Turtledove pictured the defeated CSA as post WWI Germany (in real history)with its own hyperinflation, rising Hitler-like war veteran, war expense cuts among the victorious powers etc. Was captivating to read, yet at some point the plot became predictable.
A great series continues. I really like this series for many reasons. Along with the books before this in the sequence, the period between the world wars could plausibly have happened this way. The events and people are quite believable.
Dec 03, 2013 Brentman99 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who read the Balance series.
A great book that creates an interesting take on combining WWI, the Civil War and the era inbetween WWI and WWII. Lots of fun. I love his grasp of history and the cast of characters is great. I enjoyed this series a lot.
Jan 26, 2013 Rhys rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a trilogy not meant to stand on its own, the book does what is expected of it. It forms a bridge between the far more interesting and intriguing series The Great War and Settling Accounts.
Matthew Borelli
Aug 12, 2011 Matthew Borelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this entry into Turtledove's epic story. There were a lot of surprises and I really was rooting against Custer but he worrmed his way through.
David Leagas
Jul 08, 2016 David Leagas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great book the characters are getting stronger as the series goes on, always have my favourites that i cant wait to read about.............looking forward to the next one
Jun 15, 2012 Rastom is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Master of alternate history. Too abrupt introduction of characters, settings and linking of events. Is this how Turtledove writes?
Jun 14, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know it's alternate history when you read "President Upton Sinclair". Still loving this series the third time through.
Dec 09, 2014 Kristopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written, I liked the continued character development from the Great War Trilogy. Very relatable to Nazi Germany, for those who like that kind of thing.
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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

American Empire (3 books)
  • The Center Cannot Hold (American Empire, #2)
  • The Victorious Opposition (American Empire, #3)

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