Hints of Return Engagement plotline

well, the fact that the war started on June 22 and that Featherston has a maniacal hatred of the USA (comparable to Hitler's hatred of communist Russia) makes it pretty obvious what the comparison is going to be.... other than that the CSA doesn't have a second front to fight on...
Turtledove is German

Turtledove does not have to worry about plausibility. He can have the Confederacy conquer the Union if he wants. Then the German army can liberate the oppressed Union nation and destroy the death camps.
You assume that Turtledove is writing about the Eastern Front instead of the Western Front.
Why does everyone think Morrell is a 'good guy' ? He supports the harsh repressive measures the USA has taken in Canada and the Occupied CSA to the extent of using tank main guns and machine guns on rioting mobs - surely that breaches some bit of the Constitution, Houston being a fully fledged State after all.

In fact, it highlights something that often appears to be overlooked. This USA is not the USA of OTL. It is nastier. Prior to WW1 it had this huge resentful chip on its shoulder. After, it displayed an arrogance in victory worthy of its ally, the Kaiser's Germany (as in post 1870 or after Brest-Litovsk).

To be honest, this is a wholly unpleasant world. The country names might be the same (excepting the obvious CSA), but the countries themselves display characteristics alien to our own development.

Still, pre-ordered the next book and waiting to see what happens next. For what it's worth I don't see a CSA victory as improbable as some imply - simply because this isn't our world. In a long war, maybe greater US industry might prevail but I see the situation more analagous to Germany-France than Germany-USSR. Still, the next three volumes will reveal what happens.
You know Peter, you hit on one of Turtledove's best qualities in his writing in my opinion. The fact that there never are any characters who are absolutely good and absolutely bad, there are simply characters who just "are", with bad qualities and good qualities (or what we view as bad and good) based upon their experiences throughout his stories.
true, the US is a lot darker in this ATL (so, it's probably a good thing the US won the ACW, if the world had any chance of turning out like these books), but with Featherston in the CSA, Fascists in France and England, a repressive Kaiser in Germany, and the Tzar in RUssia, the US is the best of a bad lot. So, Morrell has to be considered one of the good guys, such as they are in this world....
I still think that HT is going for a Germany/RUssia scenario, and that he won't have the US lose (Americans are by far his biggest fan base). Rather, it might be Germany that's in trouble, with France and England both gunning for her....
Were forgetting on thing when we discuss the CSA reaching Lake Erie. Kentucky is part of the CSA. So to reach Lake Erie they just have to go though Ohio. And with a sudden Nazi like attack I can see them reaching it pretty quickly.

And Hoover was never elected President. He was Coolidge's Vice President. Coolidge died before being sworn in and Hoove became President
Dave: you are right about a Featherston/Hitler similarity in how the CSA leader rabidly hates the USA. However, the weak and appeasement approach of the USA is much more like Britain/France in 1935-39 than Stalin's Soviet Union.

Peter: You are right, Canadians and Houstonians would certainly not see Morrell or any American as a "good guy" and I agree with you and Dave that the much "darker" world in this TL is a critical element of the books. In fact it is one of the few things I find really refreshing in the Great War/American Empire series. Now excuse me while I go wax my Kasier Bill moustache.








Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
In this well-thought-out alternate history, the first in a new trilogy, Turtledove (American Empire) combines elements of the Civil War and WWII with disturbing results. Confederate President Jake Featherstone has launched an undeclared war of revenge on the U.S.A., with Rebel "barrels" (tanks) cutting the nation in half. U.S. President Al Smith doesn't sue for peace as expected, causing unreconstructed Canadians to sabotage the now-vital Northern rail system holding the nation together. Mormon separatists have once more revolted against the federal government, and Louis Armstrong, who has defected to the North, brings with him chilling evidence of the Confederate "population reductions" (genocide) of African-Americans. Turtledove's depiction of how easily the C.S.A. could carry out genocide—and do so with less cost to the conscience than the Germans experienced in the real Holocaust—coupled with the "so what?" reaction of Northerners when this is publicized makes a disturbing commentary on the state of race relations in both parts of our country. While some of the character descriptions are repetitious, the author handles his huge cast with admirable skill. The insights into racial politics elevate this novel to a status above mere entertainment, although it provides that aplenty.
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