The Great War: The American Front

Posted by barb on Dec 24, 2003 in Books |

by Harry Turtledove

This is actually the second book in an alternate history series by Turtledove, in which the USA does not win the civil war of succession (pardon me). I haven’t read the first book, but it’s not necessary to understanding this one. The only important part is that there is now a USA and a CSA (Confederate States of America) occupying what we know as the USA.

Due to alignments made during the war of succession, when World War I breaks out, the USA is on the side with Germany, while the CSA is on the side with Britain, France and Canada. The war is fought in North America.

This novel follows the lives of several characters in both the USA and CSA during the first part of WWI. These characters range from soldiers to farmers, factory workers to political figures. The novel is formed out of small bits of each character’s life. I was worried when I came to page 50 and there had been no repeats in the characters, but the characters do come back, and we follow their progress through the war. Unfortunately, the war is still going strong when the novel ends.

All of the stories were captivating, but yet the book felt really, really long. I can’t say why exactly. Still, I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, but am a bit disappointed that it covers the European Front, since I would have liked to know what happens to the characters I’ve gotten to know on the American Fronts.

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