William Lind’s most recent in the American Conservative (not on line), Alternative History, is a timely addition to a recent post here, the observation of revisionist popular histories on the War Between the States, hitting the book shelves.
To answer the post at Conservative Times: a cyclical market tendency offers only thin gruel, as far as future trends go. The critical work lies in creating a compelling counter narrative, woven through history.
Focus on the War Between the States, the Civil War, is timely with these anniversary sorts of years–150; people who still care to part with a few dollars on the topic have a friend in publishing. Sides have been chosen already, and no irony or whiff of resistance is sensed in the South when they sing the National Anthem prior to a sporting event. NASCAR chased out the Confederate flags with little troubles.
New supporters for Southern heritage need to be found and developed.
A few shorts years from now, the Centennial for the Great War will be recognized through-out the Western World. The battlefront cemeteries in Belgium and France have been kept in immaculate condition and will find a place on the modern medium of television and certainly the publishing cycle.
The nihilism, the insanity of the Great War defined both the post-war thoughtful Right, and Left, leading many to an “anti-war” position, be it on dysgenic, economic, spiritual, or sentimental lines.
During our age, after the latter half of the Second European 30 Years War, well, the Second World War, the thoughtful mind, Right and Left, in a simple negation, expressed an alternative history:
No Great War, No Hitler, No Stalin.
It seems reasonable to expand this statement. It’s hardly beyond the historical imagination, even now, to imagine that a fractured “United States”, with border disputes and a political culture of individual, regional states, would have possessed the power to intervene during the fateful year of 1917; to have had such an impact as to turn a war with the European powers.
When O Henry ponders, “If only Longstreet had…” rather than consider the narrow focus, consider the broader impact on the nation at large, and on the West.
No Appomattox. No Great War. No Hitler. No Stalin.
For when the publishers rush to meet popular trends, the moment will offer itself; be ready and out in front with a compelling alternative history.