Walk in Hell

Harry Turtledove, Author
Harry Turtledove, Author Del Rey Books $25.95 (484p) ISBN 978-0-345-40561-6
Reviewed on: 08/02/1999
Release date: 08/01/1999
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The Hugo Award-winning master of alternate world histories presents the second volume in the WWI series he began last year with The Great War: American Front. In Turtledove's version of the War to End All Wars, conflict rages on the American continent between the USA (with 34 states) and the Confederate States of America, which won secession during the Civil War. Allied with Germany and France, the USA in 1915 hopes to take advantage of a weakened CSA, which is plagued by a socialist revolution engineered by its former slaves. Setting his tale on a suitably large canvas, Turtledove introduces a variety of characters who exemplify the diverse political and economic circumstances of the period: Anne Colleton, a former Confederate landowner, must learn to cooperate with her activist fieldhands; Flora Hamburger, a New York intellectual, fights against class injustice and runs for a seat as a socialist congresswoman; Confederate sub commander Roger Kimball plans a risky attack on New York Harbor. Turtledove judiciously blends famous historical characters into the plot, so readers learn of General Custer's frustration at being unable to conquer Tennessee and see Woodrow Wilson as a Confederate president. Although there are numerous battle scenes, the gore is restrained. Instead, the author emphasizes character, and his thorough knowledge of the period's history will, as usual, captivate his readers, Foreign rights sold in the U.K. (Aug.)
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