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Almost America: From the Colonists to Clinton: a "What If" History of the U.S.
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Almost America: From the Colonists to Clinton: a "What If" History of the U.S.

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  66 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
American history is full of difficult choices that could have gone the other way. Now Steve Tally sends you back to the most important moments in our nation's history -- and takes the other fork in the road.

What if the President Nixon had refused to resign and instead faced impeachment.
What if George Bush had dropped Dan Quale from the 1992 Republican ticket?
What if Teddy
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 21st 2000 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Mathieu Gaudreault
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A good list of history and alternative history of the US history. From the first colonist to Clinton. Each chapters is divided in two parts. One is what happened and the other is a short alternate history. A must have for alternate history fans.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Steve Tally presents a collection of counterfactual history essays in this collection spanning United States history from the founding to the Clinton era. The chapters are short and to the point, great reading for when you have a few minutes or want to pass a chapter before bed. Each topic is introduced with a summary of the point of divergence event, an introduction to how actual history unfolded, and a short what if scenario of what might have happened differently. Refreshingly, few topics hav ...more
James Bowman
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, alt-history
This book consists of a number of brief alternate history essays. It falls into the usual trap of non-fiction counterfactuals - they don't generally extrapolate what happens very far after the divergence, usually stopping after a few decades. Nevertheless, there were several interesting scenarios that make this worth reading.

The standouts include:
- Morse never invents the telegraph, leading to a more fragmented U.S.
- Robert E. Lee becomes the commander of the Union army, which keeps Virginia and
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very good despite a few little factual errors.

Some of these are really thought-provoking and well thought out. I especially enjoyed the one concerning Teddy Roosevelt following through with his plan to ban college football unless they did something to curb the extreme violence (23 young men died in the 1905 season). The consequences were interesting and I thought very plausible.

The book is marred by a few factual errors. They really are not terribly important to the outcome of the author's alter
Jul 03, 2010 added it
Interesting Counterfactual Scenarios: The sense I got when I read the "might have beens" in this book was that God seemed to be watching over the development of America--the securing of our independence in the eighteenth century and that we didn't self-destruct or fragment in the nineteenth. That thirteen colonies on the Eastern Seaboard could break from Britain was deemed highly improbable, and it took a lot of providence to bring it about.

The one scenario that I thought was WAY off base was t
Tom Darrow
Jul 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Like most "what if?" books about history, this one leaves a bit to be desired. Each chapter has several pages of background material that leads up to the conflict in question (ex. should Washington cross the Delaware River or should George Bush dump Dan Quayle as his VP). After that is has several pages of speculation, complete with made-up conversations between the major players. The final section of each chapter contains what actually happened.

The book is amusing and thought-provoking in many
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, owned
This book was a very interesting look at some events in the history of the US that could have turned out very differently. The author goes into a bit more detail than I, a low-key history buff, would have liked. It took me awhile to get through this one because a) I'm in grad school and b) it wasn't gripping. Excellent book for history buffs and brings out a couple of interesting points in history I don't remember learning about before. Towards the end the author seems a little bit partisan, but ...more
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. some of the "what if" scenarios seemed a stretch. I think if they were fleshed out a bit more I'd be able to follow the train of thought of the author better.

that being said, some other scenarios were fascinating to me, especially the u-2, the jungle by Upton Sinclair (yuck!), Lee joining the union army, Microsoft, and the Apollo 11 mission.

definitely a book for history buffs and speculators.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting and informative read. But some mistakes this author makes are ludicrous. For example, he says Bill Gates invented the Fortran computer language. (According to Wikipedia, Fortran was developed by IBM in the 50's, about the time Gates was born.) Such glaring errors make me skeptical about the author's fact-checking due diligence.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
A really fun, thought-provoking introduction to studying American history. Some scenarios are a little more plausible than others, but that is the nature of the writing. Every page is filled with imagination, blurring the lines between fact and fiction.
Kym Janisch
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
didn't care too much about the what-if scenarios so I skipped them. I was too worried about remembering the fake history as real and making a fool of myself in conversation.
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very interesting what if scenarios. My favorite being Robert E Lee joins the Union and Teddy Roosevelt outlaws football.
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