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Stars and Stripes Triumphant (Stars & Stripes trilogy) [Paperback]

Harry Harrison
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Sep 2002 Stars & Stripes trilogy
In STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, Harry Harrison began the story of the war that never was, but might so easily have happened: the war of the 1860s between the United States of America and the British Empire.

It began with an ill-considered seizure of a British ship, escalated with an ill-considered letter to Abraham Lincoln, and continued with an ill-starred invasion of the territory of the USA by an incensed British government.

The first modern war - with iron-clad ships, rapid-firing guns, trenches, mass armies and massive casualties, was taking place, not between the industrial northern states and the agricultural southern ones, but between the two great English-speaking nations. Who happened also to be the two most powerful nations on the planet. In the stunning conclusion to this series, the Irish become involved and a most surprising ending is the culmination of the ill-fated war.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New edition edition (19 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340689226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340689226
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,291,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

What if the American Civil War had been interrupted by a British invasion that persuaded the States to reunite? Harry Harrison's Stars and Stripes Triumphant is book three in the resulting alternate-history sequence.

Much action follows, with America winning through in the initial Stars and Stripes Forever--and then striking back at a British Empire still addicted to conquest, in Stars and Stripes in Peril. Even with Ireland now independent, the Brits remain aggressive in 1865 and use their famous mastery of the seas to stifle US trade, arrogantly confiscating ships and cargoes. President Lincoln can't take this lying down...

Harrison loads the odds enthusiastically. The Empire is complacent, stupid, bloated with too many easy victories. Meanwhile all Americans are staunch and indomitable, and US technological know-how (here about 70 years ahead of its time) develops an unbeatable war machine: destroyers, tanks, armoured columns, Blitzkrieg. As General Sherman puts it:

...If this new kind of army attacks in force it can destroy all who stand before it. The faster the attack, the quicker the end of the conflict. That is why I call it lightning war.

Exciting but one-sided clashes follow, with daring US strategy brilliantly dancing rings around the flabby Empire's larger forces. The politics has a cartoon-like simplicity--the Irish Question, for example, was solved forever when America "liberated" the North from British rule and ordered the country to get united. If only!

Harry Harrison is having lots of fun, and his boyish enthusiasm is infectious. In this alternate 19th century, America is wholly altruistic, concerned only for the greatest good of the greatest number and plans to reform even corrupt, royalist Britain with tough love. It's lightweight, slapdash fun.--David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


This pacy novel is an ingenious contribution to the burgeoning genre of "what if?" history.' (Mail on Sunday on STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER )

'Plausible as well as highly entertaining. Harrison does a masterful job of demonstrating how this became the first modern war, and changed forever the way nations conducted their affairs.' (Science Fiction Chronicle on STARS AND STRIPES )

'Verve and pace carry it through.' (Time Out on STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER )

'The tight writing and grasp of the period's technology is impressive.' (Yorkshire Post on STARS AND STRIPES )

'Harrison paints a graphic picture of the first modern war' (Bolton Evening News )

'Harrison introduces us to a diverse range of skilfully drawn characters. Their hopes; their aspirations; their obsessions: the human face behind a conflict of awesome maginitude.' (Enigma on STARS AND STRIPES TRUIMPHANT 20020601)

'One of science fiction's most prolific and accomplished craftsmen.' (New York Times Book Review 20020601)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely weak ending to a poor series 16 Sep 2008
By Pete W.
Heavily biased, insulting to the intelligence, this story is wild American wish-fulfilment.
If you are looking for skillful plotting or exciting suspenseful battles, look elsewhere: "oh look it's a brand new pride-of-the-fleet British warship - that won't last very long - boom - yup, there you go. Ho hum. U.S. victorious."
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By sfc567
This is the third volume of a trilogy and is by far the weakest. It reads like the author was going through the motions to get the whole thing wrapped up but was no longer really interested. It has all the weaknesses of the earlier two volumes such as the british leadership being arrogant pompous airheads with one or two token exceptions and the american leadership being efficent far sighted and noble with no exceptions. But has few of the strengths of the first two volumes such as well thought out military campaigns. In this book the campaign is little more than a sketchy outline. ...In short this is a loser of a book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Takes the word "Tripe" to new depths 31 May 2008
Anti-British garbage ?
Yep, and more.
The yanks have a habit of being less reasonable towards the Brits than is understandable or even sane.
This series could be held up by USA-hating Islamacists as an "We told you so" to we Brits
I read an interview with Harrison about this series - full of self-praise and pomposity, and sneering at the antiBrit bias.
He is in reality what this dreadful book would have you believe
Only for the less intelligent old glory wavers, or Irish republicans
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye, it hasn't been pleasant. 18 Jan 2009
This is the third and hopefully final instalment of the "Stars and Stripes" series, an alternate history that sees Great Britain intervening in the American Civil War. I say hopefully, because it's quite the worst historical novel I think I have ever read.

The problem is not with the writing. Harrison is a professional and he knows what he is doing. The difficulty is with the feeling of being constantly, and stridently, preached at. It is so telegraped. The very title, complete with a colourful cover of London in flames, gives away the ending straightaway. The characters are barely one-dimensional, and in spite of all the polemic about the "rights of the common man", all of them are star generals, leading politicians and major philosophers.

OK it's alternate history, but it still has to be BELIEVABLE. The problem is that Harrison isn't a historian. People at this time simply did not have the mindset that he ascribes to them. The US military at this time just did not the capabilities that he describes. He underestimates the political divisions in America and he certainly completely misreads the European political situation.

You can't enjoy the writing or the adventure because everything is utterly twisted. The whole tenor of this book is so arrogant, inaccurate and hypocritical as to be laughable. The sad thing is that Harry Harrison isn't laughing. He really believes this could have happened, and undoubtedly wishes that it had.
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