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Liberating Atlantis Hardcover – Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451462963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451462961
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,328,940 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.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the third in the "Atlantis" series from Harry Turtledove which currently consists of

1) "Opening Atlantis"
2) "The United States of Atlantis"
3) This book, "Liberating Atlantis"

This series looks at the history of the United States through the prism of an alternative history world in which there is a large island or small continent in the mid Atlantic. The first book described the discovery of the island, named Atlantis, and its early history, which bore a remarkable resemblance to that of the US colonies up to about the seven years war. The second book essentially tells the story of the American War of Independence but translates it onto the island of Atlantis. This book tells the story of how slavery came to be abolished through a civil war in the mid-nineteenth century, though the parallels with real history are not nearly as close as in the second book.

During that second book, the character who corresponds to the historical George Washinton had an affair with a black slave girl, which resulted in the birth of a son.

"Liberating Atlantis" begins two generations later. Frederick Radcliffe, grandson of the general who defeated the |British and gained freedom for White Atlanteans, is a house slave on a plantation in one of the southern states of Atlantis. He doesn't usually dare use his famous surname within the hearing of his master or other whites because slaves are not supposed to have surnames.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Jun 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Third in a series of alternate history novels, which describe life on Atlantis. A huge place somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. First discovered in Elizabethan times in Opening Atlantis and then which gained independence in The United States of Atlantis.

This picks up the story of Atlantis some time after the events of the second volume. It's pretty much self contained and all the exposition new readers would require is delivered early on. Namely that main character Frederick Radcliff is the illegitimate grandson of the leader of the revolutionary armies in the second book.

Frederick is a slave. In conditions similar to those faced by blacks in the southern states of the USA prior to the American civil war.

When fate forces Frederick to take matters into his own hands, a slave revolt starts and quickly spreads. The slaves have no choice but to fight for their freedom.

And the two consuls who rule Atlantis have some tricky questions to answer in respect to how they should deal with this.

The book is divided into four parts, each of roughly one hundred to one hundred and twenty pages, and twenty six chapters. The viewpoint does shift between Frederick and the two consuls. The latter being the thoughtful and liberal Newton. And the much more reactionary Stafford.

This does have an advantage as a story in that it doesn't parallel real history too closely, thus you can't be entirely sure how things are going to turn out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
thought provoking alternate history 4 Dec 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In The United States of Atlantis, Victor Radcliff led a revolt to liberate the island continent from its British masters (see The United States of Atlantis). During the revolt, Victor sired a son with a slave. However, decades after leading the USA to victory, his grandson from that improper union Frederick Radcliff is a well kept house slave owned by Henry and Clotilde Barford.

An incident with his vile owner Clotilde has him kicked out of the house and away from his beloved Helen into the field. Already questioning how the Founding Fathers including his paternal grandfather omitted liberty for so many, Frederick angrily has had enough. He flees, but not long after his desertion, he leads a growing slave insurgency. The powerful slave owners try to force their hand picked politicians to bring the forces of the USA to put down the rebels. However the Atlantis Senate remains divided as the two lead Consuls, abolitionist Newton of the North and slave holder Stafford of the South paralyze the government with their disagreement re the growing revolt. With the Union in peril of splitting apart a reluctant Newton finally supports sending troops to put down the revolt.

The third Atlantis tale (see Opening Atlantis) continues Harry Turtledove's sort of alternate American historical saga. The story line is filled with plenty of action, but is character driven. Stafford is Calhoun and Newton is Webster as they debate the merits of their respective position while a reluctant Radcliff leads the insurgency. All three are solid with strong beliefs that come across as genuine; ironically Radcliff with the most to gain and lose is the doubter of the trio. Fans will enjoy this deep look at the situation that led to the American Civil War and its aftermath through the lens of an enjoyable thought provoking alternate history.

Harriet Klausner
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Third in the "Atlantis" series - a civil war to end slavery 24 May 2010
By Marshall Lord - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is the third in the "Atlantis" series from Harry Turtledove which currently consists of

1) "Opening Atlantis"
2) "The United States of Atlantis"
3) This book, "Liberating Atlantis"

This series looks at the history of the United States through the prism of an alternative history world in which there is a large island or small continent in the mid Atlantic. The first book described the discovery of the island, named Atlantis, and its early history, which bore a remarkable resemblance to that of the US colonies up to about the seven years war. The second book essentially tells the story of the American War of Independence but translates it onto the island of Atlantis. This book tells the story of how slavery came to be abolished through a civil war in the mid-nineteenth century, though the parallels with real history are not nearly as close as in the second book.

During that second book, the character who corresponds to the historical George Washinton had an affair with a black slave girl, which resulted in the birth of a son.

"Liberating Atlantis" begins two generations later. Frederick Radcliffe, grandson of the general who defeated the |British and gained freedom for White Atlanteans, is a house slave on a plantation in one of the southern states of Atlantis. He doesn't usually dare use his famous surname within the hearing of his master or other whites because slaves are not supposed to have surnames. Annoying as his servile status is, be knows that as a house slave he is far better off than those blacks and "copperskins" (native Americans brought to Atlantis as slaves) who have to work in the fields. But for an accident he would probably never have chosen to rock the boat. But then events outside his control fill him with a burning sense of an injustice - and a chance to do something about it ...

Turtledove once wrote that alternative history provides a "funhouse mirror" through which we can take a different perspective on real history. He has put this into practice: others have described his novels as having taken their plots from actual events but with different historial and fictional individuals and races playing the same roles.

For example, in his book "In the Presence of Mine Enemies" a Third Reich which had won World War II eventually collapses in exactly the same way that the real Soviet Union collapsed. And Turtledove's massive eleven-book saga which begins with "How Few Remain" tells the dystopian history of a world in which the Confederate States of America won independence and survived for nearly a century but followed almost exactly the historical course which in the real world led Germany to Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust.

The parallels with real history are much less close in this book than in "The United States of Atlantis" but they are definately still there and looking for them is one of the more entertaining parts of the book. (I was particularly amused when one of the pro-slavery politicans makes a comment to the commander of the Atlantean army which in real history Abraham Lincoln made to one of his less aggressive generals - "If you don't want to use the army I would like to borrow it for a while.")

Includes a fascinating little passage about the extent to which important individuals affect historical trends. At one point two of the main characters are speculating about what course Atlantean history would have followed if Frederic Radcliffe's grandfather hadn't had the affair with the slave girl and he had never been born. They come to the conclusion that the particular war they are involved in would not have happened, but within a few decades something similar probably would have.

Turtledove also puts into the thoughts of his characters ideas which foreshadow future events. One or two of the characters in "The United States of Atlantis" (including, ironically, Frederick Radcliffe's grandfather) were more than a little uncomfortable that their fight for freedom for White Atlanteans did not include anything similar for blacks or "copperskins" in the southern part of the continent. Similarly, in this book two of the main characters opposed to slavery become uncomforably aware that some of the worst injustices against Atlantean women, white or black, will not be abolished with slavery. In both books the characters concerned reluctantly come to the conclusion which can be summarised as "one battle at a time."

All the books Turtledove writes seem to get slammed by some readers who hate them and praised by others who loved them. I am quite certain that this will be no exception. I enjoyed reading this series.

While none of the Atlantis books are a work of genius like "The Guns of the South" or "The Two Georges: The Novel of an Alternate America" they are nevertheless among Harry Turtledove's better novels. I liked the characters, I thought the action was well paced, the descriptions imaginative, the sequence of historical events broadly plausible. And he keeps his tendancy to repeat things too much reasonably well in check!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed 1 Mar 2012
By Lee Schacter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
Verbose but immginative. Lacks suspense, character development and willing suspension of disbelief. Plot is obvious, people superficial. For fans only
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Liberating Atlantis 6 Feb 2010
By B. Boyington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very interesting "take" on slave rebellions. This one is led by Radcliff's grandson through a slave concubine during the Revolutionary War. This book is thoughtfully done and involves not only the slave revolt, but it's affect on the country as a whole. It also demonstrates that rival leaders can come together to solve awsome problems. The main characters can be compared with William Webster, John C Calhoun, and Spartacus. If you are a fan of "alternate history" you will enjoy this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best of the series 22 July 2010
By Midwest Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Excitement and a compelling story line make this the best of the Atlantis series. It was a great read and makes one think about many things.

I'm looking forward to more volumes in this series!
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