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American Empire: The Victorious Opposition [Paperback]

Harry Turtledove
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Jan 2004

Turtledove's alternate history of America in the last 150 years

continues . . . The final book in the American Empire sequence takes

the violent American civil war (which has become a world war) to the 1930s.

Seventy years have passed since the first War Between the States. The North American continent is locked in a battle of politics, economies and moralities. In a world that has already felt the soul-shattering blow of the Great War, North America in 1934 is the powder keg that could ignite another global conflict.

The Victorious Opposition is a drama of leaders and followers, spies and traitors, lovers and soldiers. From California to Canada, from combat on the high seas to the secret meetings where former slaves plot a desperate strategy for survival, Harry Turtledove has created a human portrait of a world in upheaval.

Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (19 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340820144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340820148
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 11 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 482,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

Product Description


Engrossing ... definitely the work of one of alternate history's authentic modern masters ... totally fascinating (BOOKLIST (about THE GREAT WAR))

Good fun. It has an authentic speculative quality, energy and dash (TIME OUT (about WORLD OF DIFFERENCE))

With shocking vividness, Turtledove demonstrates the extreme fragility of our modern world ... This is state-of-the-art alternate history, nothing less (Publishers Weekly (starred review for HOW FEW REMA)

Book Description

Turtledove's alternate history of America in the last 150 years continues . . . The final book in the American Empire sequence takes the violent American civil war (which has become a world war) to the 1930s.

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First Sentence
Clarence Potter walked through the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, like a man caught in a city occupied by the enemy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Trudging through alternate history 23 Oct 2003
The echoes of war loom over a divided North American continent in Harry Turtledove's American Empire: The Victorious Opposition, the third book in the middle trilogy of books. Starting with The Great War saga, Turtledove has told a tale of alternate history, with the Confederacy having won the Civil War and still being around in the early 1900s. The American Empire trilogy has told the story of the inter-war years, and Turtledove's ideas are fascinating. Unfortunately, the writing doesn't keep up with it.
Harry Turtledove really confuses me sometimes. I love the concept of this series and I love what he's doing with it. The idea of a Confederacy taking part in World War I and the rise of a Hitler-like figure in the downtrodden South that sparks World War II is fascinating. However, the way he writes just annoys me. His constant repetition (he uses the same metaphors over and over) and his need to introduce his characters every time we see them in the book are just grating. We know that Abner Dowling served under Custer during the First World War and that Dowling didn't like him. Even if we hadn't read the previous books, we got that the first time Turtledove introduces Dowling in this book. We don't need to get it again the next time, and the time after that. It's like Turtledove thinks that his readers don't have the attention span to keep all of his characters straight. While that may be a valid point (previous books have had a lot of viewpoint characters), Turtledove has actually toned that down in this one, having only a few characters act as main ones. Others are introduced as some of the previous ones die off, keeping the cast to a manageable level.
This brings up another point as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place holder and scene setter. 16 Feb 2004
By Mr. A. J. D. White VINE VOICE
I must say that I really enjoyed this book, and find the critisms placed in previous reviews to be rather baffeling. Particularly the comments aboust slavishly sticking to "real history".
From very early in the novel on I was gripped by Turtledoves writting and drawn back into the alternate world he has created. I must admit to being very happy with how he has drawn the media into this book, using both the radio and newspapers as tools to allow us to find out whats going on in the world (this is done by characters talking about the news from radio/ new papers not with "articles"). I also found the writting very personal and people orientated, rather than events driven as in previous books. This really did felsh out the characters who have at times in the past seemed a bit wooden, this also left with me with a genuine sense of lose when Turtledove killed off some of the veiw point characters, however I expect he will continue these threads merely picking up a new character from that group.
As for the "sticking to real history", I am in 2 minds about this. Yes he has followed "real" history and the Freedom party does bare a canny resemblance to the Nazi's, but thats as far as it goes I feel. I felt more that Turtledove is commenting on cyclical nature of History, and the enivitability of human weaknesses and follies. If you take a look at European History you can see the same patterns repeating time after time after time, the characters change, the powder keg moments differ but beyond that the same thing happens time after time. Having said all that I was slightly disappointed by the end of the novel, I was hoping that Turtledove would twist and have the USA start the fight not the CSA rather than the CSA calling the shots.
All in all I enjoyed this novel, Turtledove has slightly refreshed his cast and repositioned his key players. Now we just have to wait for the guns to fire. 4 stars rather than 5 as I can't wait for the action to start again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plodding along 12 Jun 2012
The final book of the American Empire trilogy but the 7th book in the 11 volume series imagining what might have happened had the South won the American Civil War.

This trilogy bridges the books that concentrate on the First and Second World Wars. Unfortunately, it is extremely obvious where the plot is going and it would have been a lot better had it been a single volume.

The story is told via the lives of an assortment of characters with each chapter containing a number of smaller sections that advance the main plot and a single character's story. Not every chapter covers every character and so it tends to be fairly major events in their lives that are focused on. This sometimes males it quite easy to predict what is going to happen in each segment and I found myself often knowing in advance when a character was going to be killed off, for example.

It's still an OK book but if you're intrigued by the premise and want to skip a few books you could easily miss out this entire trilogy. There are plenty of recaps along the way (also quite annoying) so you won't really miss anything.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative history. 7 Dec 2012
By BobA
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another great HT read. Have the complete series and found it impossible to put down. All very believable although later episodes tend to carry obvious parallels with Hitler's Germany. Nevertheless very well thought out
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok, could be better 4 Sep 2003
Having read the entire series so far, I must admit I'm only still reading them to see what happens. Although Turtledove does write good stories, I find his alternate history less than perfect. This book shows a slavish obsession with the events of our history. This history diverged in 1862, is it really realistic that the same events will still be happening on the same days, only with different players? I don't think so.
By all means if your following the series read the book, it is interesting. But if you haven't read the series so far I'd give it a miss as you won't follow the back story of the characters and the events are formulaic and uninspiring.
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