Bart Breen's Reviews > The Guns of the South

The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove
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May 23, 12

it was amazing
Read in January, 2009

Entertaining and Thought Provoking

Turtledove's Guns of the South, provides a rollicking good read as well as a great deal of insight into some of the common causes cited for the Civil War and why so many factors contributed to the Confederacy's defeat.

A fair criticism can be made that this book is not alternative history in the purest sense of the word. A more common scenario in such tales might more practically be derived from something like having the South win at Gettysburg. However, the adding of an element of time travel using both racism as it survived into the 21st century as well as the introduction of technology that helps the south to overcome the overwhelming odds it faced proves effective in the author's ability to highlight the points being made. The South was fighting in many regards not only the Union but also world opinion and trends that argue poignantly that even if the South had been successful militarily, it arguably would not have been able to preserve its preexisting society.

Clearly this book helps to illustrate that Slavery was a driving force in the causes of the Civil War but that it was once cause intertwined with many issues that in the end, would have resulted in change even with another military and political outcome.

The writing is well paced, plausable with a large dose of credulity, and most of all, entertaining and well researched.

5 Stars.

I recommend it.
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