Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart, The Guns of the South, and How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Hot War books: Bombs Away, Fallout, and Armistice; the War That Came Early novels: Hitler's War, West and East, The Big Switch, Coup d'Etat, Two Fronts, and Last Orders; 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 and 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-and two granddaughters, Cordelia Turtledove Katayanagi and Phoebe Quinn Turtledove Katayanagi.
In this well-thought-out alternate history, the first in a new trilogy, Turtledove (American Empire) combines elements of the Civil War and WWII with disturbing results. Confederate President Jake Featherstone has launched an undeclared war of revenge on the U.S.A., with Rebel "barrels" (tanks) cutting the nation in half. U.S. President Al Smith doesn't sue for peace as expected, causing unreconstructed Canadians to sabotage the now-vital Northern rail system holding the nation together. Mormon separatists have once more revolted against the federal government, and Louis Armstrong, who has defected to the North, brings with him chilling evidence of the Confederate "population reductions" (genocide) of African-Americans. Turtledove's depiction of how easily the C.S.A. could carry out genocide-and do so with less cost to the conscience than the Germans experienced in the real Holocaust-coupled with the "so what?" reaction of Northerners when this is publicized makes a disturbing commentary on the state of race relations in both parts of our country. While some of the character descriptions are repetitious, the author handles his huge cast with admirable skill. The insights into racial politics elevate this novel to a status above mere entertainment, although it provides that aplenty. Agent, Russell Galen. (Aug. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Almost 30 years after a brutal world war, the two nations of North America hold to an uneasy peace. When the president of the Confederacy springs an air strike on Philadelphia, and Patton's army divides the United States into two parts, the world once again erupts. Combining historical figures with fictional characters, the author of the "Worldwar Tetralogy" series demonstrates his utter mastery of alternate history and military sf in the first book of a new trilogy. Highly recommended. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"[Harry Turtledove] handles his huge cast with admirable skill. The
insights into racial politics elevate this novel to a status above
mere entertainment, although it provides that
"Turtledove plays heady games with actual history, scattering object lessons and bitter ironies along the way. [Return Engagement features] strong,complex characters against a sweeping alt-historical background."-Kirkus Reviews
"Another absorbing installment of [Turtledove's] character-centered alternate-history saga."-Booklist