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Then Everything Changed

Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reaga n

Jeff Greenfield

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Description

The New York Times bestseller from Jeff Greenfield, the renowned CBS News senior political correspondent and veteran of CNN and ABC news, offering an alternative history of America. These things are true: * In December 1960, a suicide bomber paused when he saw the young President-elect John F. Kennedy's family come to the door to wave good-bye.... * In June 1968, Robert F. Kennedy declared victory in California, and then instead of heading to another ballroom, as intended, was hustled off through the kitchen.... * In October 1976, President Ford made a critical gaffe in a debate against Jimmy Carter, turning the tide in an election that had been rapidly narrowing. But what if they had gone the other way? In three narratives based on memoirs, oral histories, fresh reporting with key participants, and his own knowledge of the principal players, Jeff Greenfield explores how accidents of fate could have altered the course of history. The scenarios that Greenfield depicts are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 10, 2011 – Speculation isn't history, but it's catnip to pundits and journalists like veteran CBS News reporter and commentator Greenfield (The Real Campaign), who can be excused for this romp into what ifs. He rightly says that alternative history's foundation is plausibility. And since he's read widely in the sources, his excursions into possible histories are decently anchored to the ground. In the first narrative, an actual failed attempt to assassinate JFK before his inauguration instead succeeds. LBJ takes his place, Guantánamo is wiped out by a rogue Soviet missile, and war with the U.S.S.R. is only narrowly averted. In the second narrative, Robert Kennedy isn't assassinated, beats Nixon in 1968, winds down the Vietnam War, and with no Watergate scandal, the cultural changes of the 1970s are averted. The third account has Ford winning re-election, but in 1980 it's Hart vs. Reagan, and Hart wins. Of course, there are other possible scenarios, which Greenfield doesn't discuss. And in these novelistic narratives, readers drown in excess, irrelevant detail (dinner menus, precise times of meetings, exact conversations)—all wonkish pundit stuff, and none essential to Greenfield's purpose. In the end, fun but insubstantial.

Customer Reviews

Excellently plausible alternate history

Greenfield's book has tales of excellently plausible alternate history. This is particularly true when it comes to a Robert Kennedy campaign and presidency. This is book is definitely worth checking out.

Confused

The author leads readers down so many hypothetical unreal alleys that one is left wondering what the editors drank the night before they approved the galleys.

Then Everything Changed
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Mar 08, 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 448 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings