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43* When Gore Beat Bush

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  333 ratings  ·  31 reviews
At 5 p.m. on September 11, 2001, an ashen-faced but composed President Al Gore stepped into the East Room of the White House to deliver a televised address to the nation. With him were former presidents Clinton and Bush, as well as Texas governor George W. Bush — flown to Washington from Dallas on a military jet, his first visit back to the capital after the close race tha ...more
Published 2012 by Byliner Inc
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Average rating 3.32  · 
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Richard Derus
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindled
Rating: 3.5* of five

I'm always just a little disappointed in realistic alternative histories. "What?! The world *isn't* cat-free and religionless if {thing X} happens instead of reality? Boo! Hiss!"

No one does an alternative Reality better than a political pundit. After all, punditry is by its nature counterfactual. Greenfield's Gore-wins essay makes it clear that nothing will ever be perfect in this worst of all possible worlds.
Moira Russell
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, on-the-kindle
This is the wave of the future, these not-quite-novella-length ebooks? Not sure if I like them or not.

The original setup (Gore doesn't lose Florida partly because Elian Gonzales' mother didn't die in the crossing) was interesting, but then it sorta went OFF THE RAILS, which is just about what happened in the bigger (actual book-sized) book of his alternate histories, which I got after reading this, which I suppose I was supposed to do. So basically this is sort of like a fictional ad for his not
Tyler Riggs
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
The premise of this book sounded interesting: What would have happened in America had Gore been declared the winner (we all know he actually did win, technically) of the 2000 election against George W. Bush.

Greenfield does a respectable job of incorporating realistic events, actual quotes, and probable scenarios into how he plays out the time period between the 2000 Election and the ultimate events of the book in 2002. Even given the author's statement that there are potentially millions of poss
Dan C.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
Jeff Greenfield wrote one of my favorite books of 2011, Then Everything Changed, which examined three different political alternate histories. I’m kind of a sucker for alternate history, but the problem is that it is so rarely done well. Then Everything Changed was so different. Meticulously researched, using actual quotes from the real history mixed in with completely imaginary events, Greenfield created three very plausible alternate late 20th century histories.

In response to his book, he got
Oct 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy a little alternate history to keep my mind fresh and wondering 'what if'. Greenfield did a good job in this novella, examining one of the great 'what if' tales of the 21st century, but did not take the usual route to do so. He tackled the 2000 US Presidential Election less from the hanging chad perspective and more from an outright victory for Gore. This does, certainly, open up many more possibilities, ones that had not crossed my mind at the time or even until I read them on the ...more
R.E. Thomas
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jeff Greenfield's short story "43*" isn't the only alternate history about what might have been if Al Gore had defeated George W. Bush in 2000, but it is in my opinion the best thought out. When he does a counterfactual, Greenfield has a knack for starting by making one small change that most people, if any, have not previously thought of as that important. In this instance, he presents a plausible scenario where Elian Gonzalez's mother survives her crossing from Cuba, defusing the crisis that p ...more
Sandi Layne
This story was, in essence, "fan fiction" - of history. A "What if?" story played out to a certain point before stopping. The premise is that Gore, not George W. Bush, won the 2000 election, and the events of September 11, 2001, played out as they did - but with a couple of significant changes. So as not to give away spoilers, I won't say what these changes are, but they stem from a possible action or two that might have resulted from Gore's policy choices.

The author, Jeff Greenfield, freely adm
John Brumbaugh
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
I initially picked this up because I couldn't think of anything else to read, and when that happens I try to pick up Kindle singles since I know I will be done with them rather quickly.

I read this while on an airplane, and that is exactly what this was an airplane book / longform magazine article. A decent, but not great look into the fantasy of what would have happened had Al Gore defeated George W Bush in the 2000 Presidential Election. The interesting thing to me was just how it read could d
David Schwartz
Sep 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Implied in Greenfield 'account' of a would-be Gore administration is a conclusion that even a President keenly aware of Al Queda and other terrorist cells couldn't move a lumbering bureaucracy to appropriately respond to a looming threat. Of course, the premise is just one of thousands and thousands of possible stories that might have played out. It was interesting to consider his story, the various real players and how they would have behaved, etc. One conclusion from this book is that our repu ...more
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Just stayed up most of the night finishing this! A gripping and very plausible alternate history. A must for political junkies. (Oh, and there was a minor plot development that seemed to be taken out of "The West Wing"!)

I also really liked Greenfield's "The People's Choice"; I'll have to make a point of reading more of his books.
David Finger
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting alternate history that felt plausible

With a realistic and plausible point of diversion, 43 envisions a fascinating world where Al Gore edges George Bush in Florida and, like Bush, faces one of America’s darkest days as president. A Gore presidency faces a different national mood over his response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and readers are left to wonder if Gore’s presidency would, in this alternative universe, be viewed as a failure. But the personalities feel accurate and rea
Richard Sansing
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Short speculative story on the first 18 months or so of a Gore presidency if Gore had won in 2001. Not as good as "Then Everything Changed." Greenfield is at his best when speculating about nomination contests and presidential elections. ...more
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I didn't care much for Jeff Greenfield's 43*:When Gore Beat Bush - A Political Fable. I realized it was a complete work of fiction, but wish the author had put the afterward, or at least parts of it, at the began, as a preface. I didn't agree that things might work out the way the author presented it and wondered if he had any notes to back up his theory of the potential play out had Gore beat Bush. Several things, he felt would have played out the same as Bush. I disagree. Would have liked for ...more
Joshua Spencer
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Greenfield explores what may have happened in the first few years of the millennium had Gore been president. The main differences are that he would have likely targeted and killed bin Laden prior to the 9/11 attacks, and in the wake of 9/11 Gore would probably have attempted to keep the USA from a protracted operation in Afghanistan and from invading Iraq. Because it's framed as a narrative there's not that much content, and of course it's all speculative. It would've made for a much more intere ...more
Brendan M.
Feb 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Jeff Greenfield's style is clear, concise, and has all the hallmarks of good political reporting. As with his previous title, "Then Everything Changed," this alternate history one-off is great when discussing the geo-political and iffy when talking about the cultural. His concept of what could have happened to lead to an even more horrifying 9/11 during a Gore administration is intense, but his description of the Bruce Springsteen song that followed is...less so. ...more
Cheryl Killingsworth
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: marginal
Interesting What If. And the content itself, although conjecture with historical facts to stay on subject, is so poorly written! Jeff Greenfield was so articulate on CNN whether you agreed with him or not. I can only assume his editor was his golfing buddy's 12 year old son who gets C- in English, grammar, and prose. It is short so you aren't spending days on it and the 'what if' is compelling and telling from a factual point of view. Unless you don't have anything else better...... ...more
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, kindle
In this "what if", Gore beats Bush, takes out bin Ladan but does not prevent 9/11. Along the way the Republican House, tied Senate and ambivalent VP Lieberman stop all legislative progress. Iraq remains the evil doer. Greenfield must have read Stephen King's "1963" because King writes that time is sticky (or something close to that) - no matter how hard we try, what happened will happen. This is a quick read Kindle Single speculation - take for what it is worth. ...more
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoy Jeff Greenfield's newspaper work but the prose here seems pretty stilted. Perhaps too much explanation and telling and not enough showing for a novel. It lost quite a bit for that for me.

I guess the basic takeaway from this book is that the more things change, the less they actually change. The inertia and vested interests in DC are not very easily changed and things keep merrily ploughing along the way they always have.
Jim Kelsh
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This is my first e book.

I like Jeff Greenfield's work and this is pretty good.
It's a what if treatise...what if Al Gore won in 2000.
Greenfield suggests a couple of tweaks to the national narrative that push the election to Gore's column. This what if scenerios proceeds in an interesting and kind of plausible path.
Lots of fun and it's good to revisit Greenfield's take on the world.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
This is more like an additional chapter to Greenfield’s 2011 book Then Everything Changed than a stand-alone book. Greenfield does an acceptable job integrating real life events into a believable alternate history. When I read these books, I do wonder what the real life characters think about it when the author kills them off or involves then in a scandal.

Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it

mildly entertaining, though a bit a stretch in its twist. I bought this as a lark at super discount and by that standard it was fine. not sure I would have liked it as much had I paid more. but a good book to take a chance with if you're into politics or speculative fiction.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating alternate history story that focused largely on how a President Gore would have handled the circumstances surrounding and following 9-11. It was a quick read that definitely kept my attention. I highly recommend it!
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting story about what could have been. Some might disagree with it, but it makes for fun reading. If you re a political and/or history junkie, give this a try!
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Not as good as his previous imaginings about recent American political history.
Linda Keiles
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Short, interesting slice of "what if". Great discussion starter... ...more
Dannel Stanley
Jan 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
what drivel, I want my 45 mins back from reading this.
Russ Skinner
Not nearly as good as it could have been. In some cases, just a chance to get off gratuitous swipes at what has actually transpired since.
Interesting twist-a sort of choose your own adventure for adults. A politically balanced narrative of what might have happened if Gore had been President on 9/11.
Gary Anthony
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: modern-age
Interesting, but I wouldn't call it good. Seems half finished, and the ending is abrupt, unclear, and unsatisfying. ...more
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Jeff Greenfield (b. 1943) is one of the most prominent political writers in the United States. Born in New York City, he went to college in Wisconsin, and received a law degree from Yale. He entered politics in the late 1960s, as a speechwriter for Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and has covered the beltway ever since, contributing to Time, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and, in a lighter vein, ...more

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