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Bring the Jubilee (Millennium SF Masterworks S.) Paperback – 14 Jun 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (14 Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857987640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857987645
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Ward Moore wrote few SF novels, but Bring the Jubilee (1953) instantly became a classic of alternate history. It's the definitive story of a timeline where the South won the American Civil War--known in this different 20th century as the War of Southern Independence.

Crippled by war reparations that must be paid in gold, the 26 Northern states are seedy and run-down. Slavery, disguised as corporate indenture, is commonplace for whites as well as blacks. There's no worse insult than "Dirty Abolitionist". Life goes on as always, and 1938 New York has a certain provincial charm, swarming with bicycles and horse-drawn carts, while dirigibles float over skyscrapers of 14 or even 15 storeys, and telegraph wires are ...

a reminder that no urban family with pretensions to gentility would be without the clacking instrument in the parlor, that every child learned the Morse code before he could read.

Newly arrived from the sticks, Hodge Backmaker picks up an education as apprentice to a cynical printer who supports the underground "Grand Army" (the North hopes to rise again). Eventually our hero, a self-taught historian, joins an eccentric community of scholars and has a turbulent affair with a brilliant female physicist working on the mysteries of Time.

She offers Hodge his big research opportunity: to visit 1863 and study the Battle of Gettysburg from a safe vantage point. Fortunately or tragically, the place he chooses is rather crucial ...

Moore writes lovingly and movingly of America as it was and might have been. This is number 42 in Gollancz's high-quality SF Masterworks reissue series. --David Langford

Book Description

The definitive Alternate History story ¿ the first to ask ¿What if the South had won the Civil War?¿

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. W. Stone on 10 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
I approached "Bring the Jubilee" as one of the classic works of sf in general and alternate history in particular. I came away with a vague sense of disappointment. Perhaps the defects register with me more because I read the book length version first, and only later found the original (and far superior) novelette. This may have brought the difference in quality into sharp relief.

The story is set in an alternate world where the South won the civil war. As a result, the defeated North suffered a hyperinflation similar to 1920s Germany, which aborted the industrial expansion and scientific progress of the later 19th Century. Three generations later, the "rump" United States is a backward, rural country very much akin to William Faulkner's South, whose people are similarly fixated on "The War" which ruined everything for them. In this world the North, not the South, is where the lynchings are (negroes have been scapegoated as the cause of the war), where the poor folks live by share cropping or indentured labour, and the Grand Army (read "KKK") engages in terror tactics. Its women still don't vote. The Confederacy, OTOH, is booming, prosperous and has expanded over the Americas into a vast Empire, whose non-whites are humanely treated but denied full citizenship.

Well, fair enough, even if debatable, as far as the United States is concerned. But Moore doesn't leave it there. The United States' backwardness has somehow "infected" the whole world. The telephone was never invented (they use morse code telegraphy instead) and heavier than air flight is still a dream. The dirigible balloon is the latest thing. Such cars as exist are steam-powered, and of limited value due to the lack of roads. Electricity has never been harnessed, though the biggest cities have gas lighting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Wakeman on 21 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
this is one of the better alternate history stories that i have read but the problem with all of these stories is the seemingly unstoppable desire to show how this alternate history is created. to be sure it is an engaging book and perhaps i have just read too much but the ending was oh so obvious.
but it was a good if quick read, in my opinion not as good as dick's 'man in the high castle' but better then robert's 'pavane' cos at least i understood the ending of this one! defintely deserving of the rather backhanded compliment on the inside cover of "...minor classic". to me that's about right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Johnny London on 1 April 2008
Format: Paperback
If you like reading about late 19th century America (in the style of the age) then you will like this book. It is not really science fiction, more of an alternative history that has a story woven into it. It probably appeals to American readers more for that reason.
I enjoyed it, but if you are after SciFi this may disappoint.
However, if you liked Huckelberry Finn you may like this - the story line is kind of similar (a young man's journey).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. F. Stevens HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
Written in 1953 about what might have happened if the South won the American Civil War, this is a thoughtful novel with a twist in the tail. It is expanded from the original short story, and while some reviewers have argued that the additional material is padding, I feel that it adds to the novel if one reads it more than once.

With hindsight one might say that the alternate time-line depicted is Steam-punk, but Ward Moore anticipated that by half a century. Others might claim the novel is dated, but I feel his style adds to the charm, and sets the environment in deeper, more subtle colours, and reading it again recently I enjoyed it far more than any of the dozen or so modern "SF" books I have read in the last year.

The pace is deliberate and the characterisation is secure, and there are no whizzy spaceships or flash-bang rabbits-out-of-a-hat special effects. But the slow build has the effect of convincing us in our belief that it really did happen as narrated by our reluctant hero.

The 'What If?' is developed as it should be, and we are left with the satisfaction of a good SF tale well told. It deserves its status as an SF Master-work.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
I always enjoy reading the 'What If?' scenarios of alternative histories, and this book eventually proved to be no exception, although it was a close call. The pace is very calm and slow, and at the end of the day, nothing much takes place, beyond the discussion of a few philosophical points about reality and destiny. This book is not for you if you want to read about events, rather than theories.
My only big complaint is that the author hasn't done much to flesh out the alternative routes his world has taken. A brief mention of a talented captain called 'Eisenhower' is about as much as we get - I would have liked to read more along these lines, if only for the novelty value of recognising familiar objects in an alien setting.
An interesting foray into the world of alternative history, but by no means the best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Wells on 4 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
It is possible to add a little padding. Had the Confederacy won the war, as in this novel, America wouldn't have moved far away from a plantation mentality.

The Allies only won WW1 against the newly modern scientific Germany by being able to import vast quantities of ammunition, fuel, food, arms, armour plate and eventually, fresh manpower from America.

Had America been unable to supply these goods it seems likely that Germany would have won WW1 and the dominant Eropean language would have been German rather than English.

Without the resentment over the treatment that Germany suffered as a result of losing WW1, Hitler would never have come to power and there may not even have been the vaster WW2.
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