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"If The South Had Won The Civil War" Topic

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863 hits since 21 Jul 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 3:06 p.m. PST

"The Past is a strange place indeed . . . everything could have been so different so easily.
Just a touch here and a tweak there . . . .

MacKinlay Kantor, Pulitzer Price-winning author and master storyteller, shows us how the South could have won the Civil War: how two small shifts in history (as we know it) in the summer of 1863 could have turned the tide for the Confederacy. What would have happened to the Union, to Abraham Lincoln, to the people of the North and South, to the world?

If the South Had Won the Civil War originally appeared in Look magazine nearly half a century ago. It immediately inspired a deluge of letters and telegrams from astonished readers, and became an American Classic overnight. Published in book form soon after, Kantor's masterpiece has been unavailable for a decade. Now, this much requested classic is once again available for a new generation of readers, and features a stunning cover by acclaimed Civil War artist Don Troiani, a new introduction by award-winning alternate history author Harry Turtledove, and fifteen superb illustrations by the incomparable Dan Nance.

It all begins on that fateful afternoon of Tuesday, May 12, 1863, when a deplorable equestrian accident claims the life of General Ulysses S. Grant…"
Main page

Anyone have read this book?
If the answer is yes… comments please?

Thanks in advance for your guidance.


Personal logo Nashville Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 4:13 p.m. PST


Set in an America where slavery still exists, the show, from the "Game of Thrones" creators, has prompted concerns about its mixture of race, politics and history.

Repiqueone21 Jul 2017 4:37 p.m. PST

So far, they have.

As Churchill famously said, ".You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they've tried everything else."

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 4:46 p.m. PST

Armand, yes I have a copy, (paperback), from the original printing, and it's a poorly written thing…

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 4:59 p.m. PST

I also read the book, lots of things needed to happen for the South to have any chance.

Repiqueone21 Jul 2017 5:20 p.m. PST

An actual strategy would have helped. As it was the various Rebel states couldn't coordinate with each other during the war. Their post-war strategies of Jim Crow and Lost Cause were far more effective and are still a part of US Politics.

McKinley Kantor's book, along with Bruce Catton's etc all were written during the Centennial which was the last period that gave any credence to the Gone With The Wind mythology.

Militarily the South was unlikely to win, but they did, for 100 years, win the narrative of that war. Happily, the truth will usually surface.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 7:38 p.m. PST

I have read a fair bit of contrafractual fiction about the ACW but not this one

The Glittering Illusion is an interesting – and fairly far-fetched – version that focuses on political and international events

A very well written book – at least in my view – is The Confederate States of America by Roger Ransom, who was a history prof at UC Riverside – it examines a lot of the economic and demographic things that might have happened

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 8:29 p.m. PST

I think Harry turtledoves alternative timeline for confederacy winning and the future of the divided America is the best I have read.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member21 Jul 2017 9:27 p.m. PST

I'm pretty sure I still have my original paperback on the shelves, but I have never read it through.

Anyone interested in buying it from me?

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jul 2017 10:10 p.m. PST

Anyone interested in buying it from me?

Piper909…if you can get 1.00 cash for it, You'll be ahead….

gamershs21 Jul 2017 11:25 p.m. PST

Two issues show why it was almost impossible for the south to win the Civil War.

1) Two ironclads were being built to defend New Orleans (and the Mississippi River). One of the ironclads needed a propeller shaft. Every foundry that could have made the shaft was approached but were too busy to make it. So when the North got past the fort defending the entrance to the Mississippi River neither ironclad was ready and New Orleans fell and both ironclads were burned.

2) The army of Northern Virginia was wearing scraps for Uniforms when Sheridan invaded South Carolina (after Georgia). He found warehouses full of over 35,000 uniforms which would only be issued to South Carolina regiments (the uniforms were burned).

It was up to the north to lose the war not the south to win it.

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2017 9:24 a.m. PST

History is full of "if's".

The southerner Newt Gingrich wrote a book on Gettysburg in which General Lee decides not to conduct Picket's charge and instead withdraws his forces on the third day of battle. The end result of this "what if" fiction is that the South still loses the war.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

So… the book is very bad…


doug redshirt22 Jul 2017 12:43 p.m. PST

Only chance the South had was in 1850 if the Great Compromises all failed. No major railroads connecting Northern states and cities. Population was much closer and industry was not so overwhelming. Most of the states troops from the Mexican American war where from Southern States also.

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2017 8:11 p.m. PST

Tango, the book was good. The point of it was that it was inevitable that the South was going to lose. It was just a matter of when.

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2017 8:14 p.m. PST

Just realized you may not have been responding to my post. I was describing a book called "Gettysburg".

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2017 10:47 p.m. PST


I understand that… only want to know if it deserves to buy it…

I would see also for "Gettysburg"…


14Bore23 Jul 2017 9:22 a.m. PST

There might/going to be a version on HBO I take it.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member23 Jul 2017 8:23 p.m. PST

Oh, I can easily imagine scenarios where the South "wins". A lot has to do with Lincoln and the Northern will to fight and pursue a war to the finish. If the South had been more fortunate in a dithering or less resolved Union president or Congress, it may well have outlasted Union patience and determination…. If the US navy hadn't been as quick to seize the initiative and pick off Dixie ports and enforce a blockade…. I can also imagine the CSA winning at Antietam and blockading Washington DC and gaining some useful assistance from France, if not Britain. Lots of things could have happened that didn't that could have tipped the balance. The South didn't have to conquer the North, the way the North had to against the South, just outlast it.

Conversely, the North had lots of opportunities to have crushed the rebellion within the first year, but those things didn't happen either.

steve1865 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2017 2:02 p.m. PST

PIPER909 is right. The north had chances to win in 1862. What if Union troops took Richmond and had offered peace to South. Would the shock of Richmond falling. New Orleans taken Middle TN taken shaken the the South that they might have rejoined the Union. Slavery would still be there. Blacks would be second class forever.

HMSResolution25 Jul 2017 5:03 p.m. PST

I dunno about forever. The Empire of Brasil had slavery until the late 1880s, but it ultimately couldn't compete with immigrant labor and European pressure. It might have taken longer (and as bad as the Jim Crow-era South was for blacks, the continuation of slavery for another twenty or thirty years would have been almost immeasurably worse for millions of innocent people), but I think it would have ended eventually.

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