The World Hitler Never Made

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by robertp6165, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. robertp6165 Confederate Troll

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    I was browsing on Amazon and came across The World Hitler Never Made by Gavriel David Rosenfeld. Has anyone here ever read it, and what do you think of it?
     
  2. robertp6165 Confederate Troll

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    This thread has almost 200 views and NOBODY has read this book? Wow.
     
  3. Major Major Tired Old Man

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    I've read it. Anyone want to see my review?
     
  4. Chris S Member

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    Everybody's probably looking for the same thing you are: a review.:D

    EDIT: And, no I haven't read the book. What about the reviews on Amazon, where they helpful?
     
  5. Vexacus Banned

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    Sure, post your review and I;ll read it. Now all I need to do is get someone to post a decent review of Rob Ferigno's final Assasin novel and I;ll be sound and a pound:D
     
  6. stirlingdraka Female Draka Defector

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    I`ve read it and I love it.:):D:)
     
  7. Baron Bizarre Is probably thinking about his next meal...

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    I've read it - I found it very interesting.
     
  8. Major Major Tired Old Man

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    LIGHTNING IN THE NIGHT
    Review by Joseph T Major of
    THE WORLD HITLER NEVER MADE:
    Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism
    by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld
    (Cambridge University Press; 2005;
    ISBN 0-521-84506-0; $30.00)

    From the Top 59 Mistakes Made by Adolf Hitler:

    1. Land War in Asia
    9. Chose “Deutschland Über Alles” over “Let’s All Be There” as party slogan
    10. Lost the Ark to Indiana Jones
    12. Referring to Stalin as “that old Georgian fat back”
    14. Free beer in munitions plants
    25. Always got Churchill out of bed for conference calls
    30. Strong fondness for sauerkraut and beans made General Staff avoid him constantly
    40. Spent jail time planning how to conquer the world instead of his own escape.
    47. Used to make prank calls to FDR asking if he had “Prince Albert in a can”
    49. Got drunk on schnapps and suggested Tojo attack the U.S. saying, “The U.S. only has twenty times your industrial power, what are you, a wimp?”
    56. Alienated Chamberlain at Munich by sticking an “Invade me” sign on his back
    — Compiled by Brad Templeton

    I once opined that the ultimate alternate-history novel would be Die Gewehre des Südens, the story of how a band of time-traveling Nazis help the Confederacy win the War Between the States, by providing them with MP-44s, so that the future Nazi Germany would have an ally in their coming war. Professor Rosenfeld doesn’t quite cover the full topic; he does discuss the one popular AH topic, that of a different World War Two. Will someday someone do a book on the topic of “The World General Lee Never Made”?

    Nazi imagery is today’s political pornography; with historical knowledge being so stunted and blunted, about the only thing most people know in that line is “Nazis = Bad”. Of those who do know something about the history, all too many of them adhere to unrealistic images of Nazi Germany.

    There are three main foci of alternate histories of this topic; the U.S., the U.K. — and Germany itself. You’d think the authorities in that last country would be worried about the popularity of that topic among certain people, and that certain people would take to it.

    Rosenfeld identifies several trends. One is “normalization”, recognizing the Nazi era as just another historical event. Another is that of collaboration; British writers for example piercing the legend of the united hostile stance against Nazism.

    The alternates he covers list everything from the Super-Führer (Gloder of Stephen Fry’s Changing History (1996), a book that takes hundreds of pages to say what L. Sprague de Camp said in his story “Aristotle and the Gun” (1958)) all the way down to Hitler hunted (Philippe van Rjndt’s The Trial of Adolf Hitler (1978))). He searches in popular culture, too, listing the Hitlerian satires put forward by P. J. O’Rourke when he was editor of National Lampoon. (And deriding them; as befits an academic milieu, missing the point.)

    He lists what I think is the best portrayal of a Nazis-victorious world, Otto Basil’s Wenn das der Führer wüßte [“If Only the Führer Knew”, tranlated into English as The Twilight Men] (1966), with its portrayal of the irrational Nazi world, obsessed with pseudo-science, laden with Aryan kitsch, splintered amid competing National Socialist sects, each the truest of Führertreu. And of course utterly proud of having removed the threat of World Jewry. This is far truer to the Nazi theme than the super-scientific Reich of Brad Linaweaver’s Moon of Ice (1988) or the angst-ridden “Ach Mein Gott, we killed the Jews!” discovery of Robert Harris’s Fatherland (1992). No matter how implausible the point of divergence, though.


    There are some issues. Rosenfeld never quite seems to get to the problem of the “demonization”, or how throwing around comparisons to Hitler does far more to normalize and indeed trivialize the Nazi era than, say The Iron Dream.

    Some of the more technical historians find the fantasizing of these works hard to take. Whether it be the miraculous removal of naval opposition and logistic difficulties found in such works as Kenneth Macksey’s Invasion (1980) or the curious why not implicit in the non-ascension of Gloder of Changing History, there are issues. Indeed, the ultimate example of this is Gary Gygax’s Victorious German Arms (1973), where the Germans make all the right decisions, and the Allies do all the wrong things. (Stirling is not original.)

    “The World Hitler Never Made” has been used in a variety of ways, from power-wish-fulfillment to vengeance on enemies. Those who actually wish to analyze the circumstances and postulate the results, like David Downing in The Moscow Option (1978) [where the Germans and Japanese get whole bunches of breaks and still lose], or Cecil Lewis Troughton “C. S. Forrester” Smith in “If Hitler Had Invaded England” (1960) [where the Germans get the possible breaks and not the impossible ones, and still lose], don’t have the cachet and don’t get noticed. They don’t have the thrill of Nazism, it’s not, like, kewl to have the grody old Allies, like, win.

    From the Top 59 Mistakes Made by Adolf Hitler:

    54. Being born
     
  9. Vexacus Banned

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    So, is this a good read, yay or nay?
     
  10. stirlingdraka Female Draka Defector

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    Yes, yes it is.:):D It`s the only way to find out about obsecure AH novels, short stories.
     
  11. Tom_NUFC Well-Known Member

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    I'm not going to give a big full one review, but I agree it is a good read.
    It has introduced me to a number of books that I have really enjoyed, and one that really disappointed me. It covers a wide range of topics and scenarios and at the very least is thought provoking.
     
  12. Kyra New Member

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Hello,

    I was wondering if you can help me. I have recently been looking through this book and cannot seem to grasp the whole thing. I am begging to write a paper on this book. I am not asking you to write it I just merely am asking for help considering you have read it. If you can help this is what I need to know...
    1.)What is the difference between the fantasy and nightmare scenari and how does each refelct political opinion?
    2.) Compare and contrast the use of alternate history in two different nations, in what ways are these stories utlized for contemporary political commentary? and finally
    3.) Are their dangers in using the Holocaust as a theme for alternate history and if so why?

    Anything you can guide me through is much appreciated.

    Regards,
     
  13. Yelnoc Negusa Nagast

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    Is this specific to the book? I would say a fantasy reflects optimism while a nightmare reflects pessimism.

    Obviously not specific to the book because you need to instances of alternate history. As long as material published in paper format is not required, this website is a great resource (just remember to cite!).

    Alternate history is a theoretical exercise, so I can think of any dangers offhand.