How Few Remain Hardcover – 15 Jan 1998
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With shocking vividness, Turtledove demonstrates the extreme fragility of our modern world . . . This is state-of-the-art alternate history, nothing less (Publishers Weekly on HOW FEW REMAIN))
Turtledove plays heady games with actual history, scattering object lessons and bitter ironies along the way. Strong, complex characters against a sweeping alt-historical background. (Kirkus Reviews on RETURN ENGAGEMENTS)
Good fun. It has an authentic speculative quality, energy and dash. (Time Out on A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE)
Engrossing ... definitely the work of one of alternate history's authentic modern masters . . . totally fascinating. (Booklist on THE GREAT WAR series)
This is the second volume in Harry Turtledove's epic alternative history of the USA, in which the South is victorious in the American Civil War. The story began with The Guns of the South, continues in this volume and goes on in Turtledove's three great sequences: The Great War, American Empire and Settling Accounts.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Like most of Turtledove's books, the story unfolds from the viewpoint of a number of characters, in this case they're all historical characters. What's more we have George Armstrong Custer, JEB Stuart, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Abraham Lincoln as viewpoint characters, all of whom died during the war or, in Custer and Lincoln's case, as a result of it. It's sort of fun to see them in 1881 meeting such people as Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Schlieffen (two more of the viewpoint characters.) It's also fun to see how Turtledove deals with how they would have coped in the world of 1881.
This is the major difference between this book and other alternative Southern Victory books. 1881 is the cusp of the modern world, a world with weapons of mass slaughter, industrial unrest, etc. The war the CSA fights in 1881 is very different to the war of 1861, which was bloody enough, because now every soldier on both sides has a repeating rifle. As such it resembles WWI more than the ACW.Read more ›
Yet the people he depicts are more than just caricatures of historical reputations. This gets to the other component of first-rate works from the genre - strong character development. Within the context of a second conflict between the two halves of the former United States (over the acquisition of Mexican territory by the Confederacy), the reader sees them as they react to the circumstances of the war and how the war, in turn changes them. It is this aspect which makes the book riveting from beginning to end and essential reading for anyone interested in exploring how things might have turned out differently.
For some reason this is referred to as "Southern Victory Series Book 2", but I am not sure why since it is the first of a series, being unrelated to "Guns of the South", his earlier stand-alone (and brilliant) novel. As with all decent alternative history, the story offers both believable portraits of historical individuals (Theodore Roosevelt, George Custer, Stonewall Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, to name the most prominent) and also plausible/logical turns of events that cause history to turn out differently. In contrast to some of his later books, Turtledove also seems to use less padding and irritating reiteration of character traits to fill out the story, leaving a lean and interesting account of a world which sees renewed hostilities between the USA and CSA (Confederate States of America). Although not strictly speaking part of the "Great War" series (I may be wrong here), it does help with the latter series if you have read this first, but it also stands on its own merits as a good work.
For me, the inclusion of historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, George Armstrong Custer, Theodore Roosevelt, Samuel Clemens ( aka Mark Twain ), Fredeick Douglass, Generals Jackson (Stonewall ) and Longstreet, William Tecumseh Sherman, Jeb Stuart, Geronimo and more add a rich flavor to the tale. Following these characters to their likely(?) destinations based on this alternate history is a lot of fun. The battles depicted seem possible and the employment of the more advanced weaponry and tactics available at the time provide food for thought. European allies...from the end of the first war to this second...are of importance, though their exploits don't earn as much detail in the book as they probaly should. The political motivations of the times and the characters are quite interesting and add elements that shed light on the original conflict as well as this imagined aftermath. One British customer/reviewer was upset at the treatment of the British in the book. My opinion is that as the ally of the Confederate States of America, which may be perceived as the villainous side in this story, it's possible that a British reader may feel some negativity in their depiction. For my part, I don't think that the British are treated poorly and, in fact, pull off a highly professional and successful raid that any military fan would be impressed with. This book is followed by Turtledove's Great War series and I for one am anxious to follow his entertaining path.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked this one as it set up the scenario for the later booksPublished 1 month ago by Paul Goddard
i read these books years ago , now i can enjoy them again on my kindle, harry turtledove is the absolute master of the what if history books, he just seems to have a grasp of what... Read morePublished on 11 Oct. 2013 by P. barton
I have been intending to read Harry Turtledove for a long time now and I'm really glad to have started at last, I hope the series of books that lead on from this title are equally... Read morePublished on 1 Aug. 2013 by David Ballantyne
Fascinating alternative history which links a stalemated USA civil war (previous book) with a new version of WW1, involving the CSA. Plausible and entertaining. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2012 by Miyamoto
This is the first book in an 11 volume tale of what might have happened had the South won the American Civil War. Read morePublished on 28 Mar. 2012 by Mr Gordon Davidson
I enjoyed the book, having read the whole series following. Alternative history is an acquired taste I suppose and a knowledge of McClellan's campaign on the Potomac is helpful in... Read morePublished on 13 Jan. 2012 by Mr. Geoffrey Calvert
How Few Remain is about a fictional second American Civil War (the Confederates having one the first in 1863) set in 1881. Read morePublished on 4 July 2007 by J.Flood