If the South had won the Civil War by MacKinlay Kantor

Read: November 16 - November 18
Format: 127 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: Civil War
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, BOSC
Category: Overflow
Genre: History
Stars: 3

Have you ever wondered if a decisive historical event had happened differently, how the world would have been effected? This tiny little book was filled with how one man pictured the world events that would have occurred if the South had successfully defeated the Union forces in the Civil War and won their independence.

MacKinlay Kantor takes two events, turns them around, and progresses from that point. The two events that the author changes are the Battle of Gettysburg and a riding accident of Ulysses Grant. The effects of Grant's riding accident is death several weeks before the Battle of Vicksburg. Having no other competent general, the Union forces are easily driven off and the Confederacy maintains its control of the Mississippi. The Battle of Gettysburg is a decisive victory for Lee and the Army of Virginia and they move on to Washington DC and capture Lincoln and the Nation's Capitol.

By the end of 1863 the War of Southern Secession is over and the Confederate States of America are recognized as an independent nation. The USA capital is moved from Washington DC to Columbus Ohio (renamed Columbia) and the CSA capital is moved from Richmond to Washington DD (District of Dixie).

Several other interesting projections are the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on the same day, different city, same assassin, Robert E. Lee's CSA presidency, the voluntary abolition of slavery by the CSA in 1888, Cuba as a member state of the CSA, and the eventual reunion of Texas Republic, CSA and USA.

I've never before read a book that was an "alternate" history so this was extremely thought provoking for me. I can't say that I believe that even if these two events had happened as projected that I would expect the history to happen as written here, but it definitely made me stop and think.

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