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American Empire: The Victorious Opposition (English Edition) par [Turtledove, Harry]
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Longueur : 642 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Descriptions du produit


Clarence Potter walked through the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, like a man caught in a city occupied by the enemy. That was exactly how he felt. It was March 5, 1934—a Monday. The day before, Jake Featherston of the Freedom Party had taken the oath of office as president of the Confederate States of America.

“I’ve known that son of a bitch was a son of a bitch longer than anybody,” Potter muttered. He was a tall, well-made man in his late forties, whose spectacles made him look milder than he really was. Behind those lenses—these days, to his disgust, bifocals—his gray eyes were hard and cold and watchful.

He’d first met Featherston when they both served in the Army of Northern Virginia, himself as an intelligence officer and the future president of the CSA as an artillery sergeant in the First Richmond Howitzers. He’d seen even then that Featherston was an angry, embittered man.

Jake had had plenty to be bitter about, too; his service rated promotion to officer’s rank, but he hadn’t got it. He’d been right in saying his superior, Captain Jeb Stuart III, had had a Negro body servant who was also a Red rebel. After the revolt broke out, Stuart had let himself be killed in battle rather than face a court-martial for protecting the black man. His father, General Jeb Stuart, Jr., was a power in the War Department. He’d made sure Featherston never saw a promotion for the rest of the war.

You got your revenge on him, Potter thought, and now he’s getting his—on the whole country.

He turned the corner onto Montague Street, a boulevard of expensive shops. A lot of them had flags flying to celebrate yesterday’s inauguration. Most of those that did flew not only the Stars and Bars but also the Freedom Party flag, a Confederate battle flag with colors reversed: a star-belted red St. Andrew’s cross on a blue field. Few people wanted to risk the Party’s wrath. Freedom Party stalwarts had broken plenty of heads in their fifteen-year drive to power. What would they do now that they had it?

The fellow who ran Donovan’s Luggage—presumably Donovan—was finding out the hard way. He stood on the sidewalk, arguing with a couple of beefy young men in white shirts and butternut trousers: Party stalwarts, sure enough.

“What’s the matter with you, you sack of shit?” one of them yelled. “Don’t you love your country?”

“I can show how I love it any way I please,” Donovan answered. That took guts, since he was small and skinny and close to sixty, and faced two men half his age, each carrying a long, stout bludgeon.

One of them brandished his club. “You don’t show it the right way, we’ll knock your teeth down your stinking throat.”

A gray-uniformed policeman strolled up the street. “Officer!” the man from the luggage shop called, holding out his hands in appeal.

But he got no help from the cop. The fellow wore an enamelwork Party flag pin on his left lapel. He nodded to the stalwarts, said, “Freedom!” and went on his way.

“You see, you dumb bastard?” said the stalwart with the upraised club. “This is how things are. You better go along, or you’ll be real sorry. Now, are you gonna buy yourself a flag and put it up, or are you gonna be real sorry?”

Clarence Potter trotted across Montague Street, dodging past a couple of Fords from the United States and a Confederate-built Birmingham. “Why don’t you boys pick on somebody your own size?” he said pleasantly, stowing his glasses in the inside pocket of his tweed jacket. He’d had a couple of pairs broken in brawls before the election. He didn’t want to lose another.

The stalwarts stared as if he’d flown down from Mars. Finally, one of them said, “Why don’t you keep your nose out of other people’s business, buddy? You won’t get it busted that way.”

In normal times, in civilized times, a swarm of people would have gathered to back Potter against the ruffians. But they were ruffians whose party had just won the election. He stood alone with Donovan. Other men on the street hurried by with heads down and eyes averted. Whatever happened, they wanted no part of it.

When Potter showed no sign of disappearing, the second ruffian raised his club, too. “All right, asshole, you asked for it, and I’m gonna give it to you,” he said.

He and his friend were bruisers. Potter didn’t doubt they were brave enough. During the presidential campaign, they’d have tangled with tougher foes than an aging man who ran a luggage store. But they knew only what bruisers knew. They weren’t old enough to have fought in the war.

He had. He’d learned from experts. Without warning, without tipping off what he was going to do by glance or waste motion, he lashed out and kicked the closer one in the crotch. The other one shouted and swung his bludgeon. It hissed over Potter’s head. He hit the stalwart in the pit of the stomach. Wind knocked out of him, the man folded up like his friend. The only difference was, he clutched a different part of himself.

Potter didn’t believe in wasting a fair fight on Freedom Party men. They wouldn’t have done it for him. He kicked each of them in the face. One still had a little fight left, and tried to grab his leg. He stomped on the fellow’s hand. Finger bones crunched under his sole. The stalwart howled like a wolf. Potter kicked him in the face again, for good measure.

Then he picked up his fedora, which had fallen off in the fight, and put it back on his head. He took his spectacles out of the inside pocket. The world regained sharp edges when he set them on his nose again.

He tipped the fedora to Donovan, who stared at him out of enormous eyes. “You ought to sweep this garbage into the gutter,” he said, pointing to the Freedom Party men. The one he’d kicked twice lay still. His nose would never be the same. The other one writhed and moaned and held on to him- self in a way that would have been obscene if it weren’t so obviously filled with pain.

“Who the dickens are you?” Donovan had to try twice before any words came out.

“You don’t need to know that.” Serving in Intelligence had taught Potter not to say more than he had to. You never could tell when opening your big mouth would come back to haunt you. Working as a private investigator, which he’d done since the war, only drove the lesson home.

“But . . .” The older man still gaped. “You handled them punks like they was nothing.”

“They are nothing, the worst kind of nothing.” Potter touched the brim of his hat again. “See you.” He walked off at a brisk pace. That cop was liable to come back. Even if he didn’t, more stalwarts might come along. A lot of them carried pistols. Potter had one, too, but he didn’t want anything to do with a shootout. You couldn’t hope to outsmart a bullet.

He turned several corners in quick succession, going right or left at random. After five minutes or so, he decided he was out of trouble and slowed down to look around and see where he was. Going a few blocks had taken him several rungs down the social ladder. This was a neighborhood of saloons and secondhand shops, of grocery stores with torn screen doors and blocks of flats that had been nice places back around the turn of the century.

It was also a neighborhood where Freedom Party flags flew without urging or coercion from anybody. This was the sort of neighborhood stalwarts came from; the Party offered them an escape from the despair and uselessness that might otherwise eat their lives. It was, in Clarence Potter’s considered opinion, a neighborhood full of damn fools.

He left in a hurry, making his way east toward the harbor. He was supposed to meet a police detective there; the fellow had news about warehouse pilferage he would pass on—for a price. Potter had also fed him a thing or two over the years; such balances, useful to both sides, had a way of evening out.

“Clarence!” The shout made Potter stop and turn back.

“Jack Delamotte!” he exclaimed in pleasure all the greater for being so unexpected. “How are you? I haven’t seen you in years. I wondered if you were dead. What have you been doing with yourself?”

Delamotte hurried up the street toward him, his hand outstretched and a broad smile on his face. He was a big, blond, good-looking man of about Potter’s age. His belly was bigger now, and his hair grayer and thinner at the temples than it had been when he and Potter hung around together. “Not too much,” he answered. “I’m in the textile business these days. Got married six years ago—no, seven now. Betsy and I have a boy and a girl. How about you?”

“Still single,” Potter said with a shrug. “Still poking my nose into other people’s affairs—sometimes literally. I don’t change a whole lot. If you’re . . .” His voice trailed off. Delamotte wore a handsome checked suit. On his left lapel, a Freedom Party pin shone in the sunlight. “I didn’t expect you of all people to go over to the other side, Jack. You used to cuss out Jake Featherston just as much as I did.”

“If you don’t bend with the breeze, it’ll break you.” Delamotte shrugged, too. “They’ve been coming up for a long time, and now they’re in. Shall I pretend the Whigs won the election?” He snorted. “Not likely!”

Put that way, it sounded reasonable enough. Potter said, “I just saw a couple of Freedom Party stalwarts getting ready to beat up a shopkeeper because he didn’t wan...

Revue de presse

“Turtledove [is] the standard-bearer for alternate history.”

USA Today

“Turtledove’s Great War/American Empire series is an epic achievement, a meticulously worked-out alternate history of the 20th century’s great two-act tragedy. . . . Bravo! A fine performance by a master-craftsman.”
Author of Island in the Sea of Time

American Empire: The Center Cannot Hold

“Turtledove never tires of exploring the paths not taken, bringing to his storytelling a prodigious knowledge of his subject and a profound understanding of human sensibilities and motivations.”
—-Library Journal

“We can be assured Turtledove will deliver on the promise of this uncompromising series.”

American Empire: Blood & Iron

“Anyone who loves a good story with surprising plot twists and vivid characters will love this book. Anyone who loves history will love what Harry Turtledove can do with it.”
New York Times bestselling author of Red Phoenix

“A masterpiece . . . Harry Turtledove’s novels are never as tense as when war looms on the horizon, threatening to break out but not yet arrived. [American Empire: Blood & Iron] covers some of the most treacherous ground of recent history, and it rarely puts a foot wrong . . . Sure to both please and terrify.”
Sci Fi Weekly

“Nobody plays the what-if game of alternative history better than Turtledove. . . . This book begins a panoramic story, a new trilogy at least, that promises to be immensely fascinating.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From the Hardcover edition.

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  • Format : Format Kindle
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  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 642 pages
  • Editeur : Hodder & Stoughton; Édition : New Ed (20 avril 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9c223ccc) étoiles sur 5 69 commentaires
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9bc24a8c) étoiles sur 5 Trudging through alternate history 15 octobre 2003
Par David Roy - Publié sur
Format: Relié
The echoes of war loom over a divided North American continent in Harry Turtledove's American Empire: The Victorious Opposition, the third book in the middle trilogy of books. Starting with The Great War saga, Turtledove has told a tale of alternate history, with the Confederacy having won the Civil War and still being around in the early 1900s. The American Empire trilogy has told the story of the inter-war years, and Turtledove's ideas are fascinating. Unfortunately, the writing doesn't keep up with it.

Harry Turtledove really confuses me sometimes. I love the concept of this series and I love what he's doing with it. The idea of a Confederacy taking part in World War I and the rise of a Hitler-like figure in the downtrodden South that sparks World War II is fascinating. However, the way he writes just annoys me. His constant repetition (he uses the same metaphors over and over) and his need to introduce his characters every time we see them in the book are just grating. We know that Abner Dowling served under Custer during the First World War and that Dowling didn't like him. Even if we hadn't read the previous books, we got that the first time Turtledove introduces Dowling in this book. We don't need to get it again the next time, and the time after that. It's like Turtledove thinks that his readers don't have the attention span to keep all of his characters straight. While that may be a valid point (previous books have had a lot of viewpoint characters), Turtledove has actually toned that down in this one, having only a few characters act as main ones. Others are introduced as some of the previous ones die off, keeping the cast to a manageable level.

This brings up another point as well. Turtledove is not afraid to kill off some of his characters, so it's nice that you don't quite know who's going to survive and who's going to live. However, some of the characters' fates are so obvious that it felt really boring, just waiting for the inevitable end to the storyline. Some of these characters we have been following for six books now, so it seemed a shame that their deaths were so telegraphed. Even when they weren't telegraphed, they seemed very perfunctory. Two of the characters just die off with no real ending to their ongoing story, which bristled. We've been waiting six books for the payoff to their story, expecting some sort of comeuppance or resolution, but nothing happens. The character just dies and that's it. End of story. I was not amused. Turtledove also spends time developing his next set of characters who will carry the next series, with the sons and daughters of our well-known characters finally getting their time on stage so we can get to know them.

Another fault with the book is one I had with the Blood & Iron as well. Too much of the history is a pale imitation of what really occurred in history. Some of it is unavoidable. The blacks in the Confederacy are the Jews from our real history (brought to life in a very chilling scene late in the book). The United States is Britain as it led up to the war (though at least Turtledove avoids having the President make a speech about "peace in our time"). However, Turtledove doesn't make it different enough to be as interesting. Kentucky, a state that the USA has controlled since the war, is the Rhineland, even down to the Confederacy moving in troops when they promised to keep it demilitarized for twenty-five years. While all the events in the book inevitably led to the conclusion we all know about (World War II), the events themselves should have been at least slightly different. That's what made The Center Cannot Hold more interesting. Different events occurred, surprising the reader even as we know where it will ultimately lead.

With all of this wrong with the book, how were the characters? Just like other Turtledove books, they were hit or miss. Some of them are interesting (Chester Martin and his attempt to unionize the construction industry in California really has me wondering where Turtledove is going with this one, which is a good thing), while others are bland and boring (Nellie Jacobs has to be one of the most worthless characters I've ever read about). Others are intriguing just because of who they represent in real history (Featherston, Clarence Potter). Overall, Turtledove does a passable job.

One good thing about the book, however, is the mood. As the book reaches its conclusion and war looms on the horizon, there's a palpable sense of fear and resignation that, because of Featherston, war is unavoidable. The United States has finally drawn a line that he can't cross, and when he does (just like in real life), the inevitable conflagration occurs, leading us into the next series. The tension is very well done, making the ending much better than the rest of the book.

The Victorious Opposition is a triumph of concept over prose, and I think that's why I can't read any other series by Turtledove. The concept of this entire series has kept me hooked for six books, when other, better-written books have turned me off and forced me to give them up. If you are a fan of alternate history and can get past the wretched prose and obvious characters, then give this book a try. If you are not in that select group of people, then give it a miss.

David Roy
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9bc24078) étoiles sur 5 It Depends On How You Read It 1 septembre 2003
Par P. Batton - Publié sur
Format: Relié
...specifically, that means "it depends on the spirit in which you read this and other Turtledove books".
First, a caveat: this review is going to be as much a small arguementative essay toward one review as it will be a review of the book itself - because I think many reviews I've read inspired me to respond as such.
Having said that, I will go to the review. Yes, as many reviewers complained, Turtledove is a tedious writer. I myself simply skip over many parts of his novel series (esp. the Quebec farmer, Nellie & Co., and the US lawyer in Canada). I see these story lines adding little, if anything, to the series. Nevertheless, when I bought his books, I didn't expect to be interested in EVERY character in his books, and so don't scold Turtledove too badly for this. So while he definitely has too many characters whose story lines add nothing but lots of pages, and many of those characters were just plain uninteresting, I did not let it spoil my enjoyment of the book.
The basic series line: The Confederacy as Nazi Germany formula, while hardly of striking originalty, is intriguing nevertheless (perhaps because I'm a multigenerational Deep Southerner, it captivated me more than many other readers). On that offshoot, I especially find realistic Featherston's lack of interests in demonizing Jews (who were in real life tolerated surprisingly well in the Deep South, at least surprisingly so given The South's history of bigotry). In fact, Featherston's chief propagandist turned out to be a Jew, which certainly is a creative irony I give Turtledove credit for.
However, I find the idea of a USA that refused to rearm in the face of a Featherston-dominated Confederacy a bit unrealistic. Even more unrealistic is the notion that even an armed-to-the- teeth CSA could ever hope to defeat the USA. Unlike Germany taking on the USSR (in the real world), the USA was not comparatively impoverished vis-a-vis the CSA the way Russia was to Germany. In fact, this was a major reason Germany fought so successfully against the USSR until the final phase of the real WW2. Were I to write the war trends of the upcoming alternative WW2 novel, the CSA would probably be beaten off in no more than three years, and probably shorter. The CSA simply would not have the capacity to withstand this USA, even a Socialist / Peace Party dominated one.
Overall though, The Victorious Opposition does make an intriguing read and have given it 4 stars.
Now, to some of the reviewers. One reviewer complained that there was no depth to the Huey Long / Featherston episode in particular, specifically complaining that there was no dialogue between the two that might make each realize that they were just two opposite sides of the coin. This complaint would be valid if Turtledove intended this work to be a "classic" work aboout about philosophy / ethics, but not in a novel like those Turtledove writes. Turtledove essentially intends to write about what might have actually happened in the rough and tumble world of politics. Surely, in this scenario, it would be much more realistic for Featherston & Co. to send his forces into Louisiana than it would be for Featherston and Long to engage in deep philosophical speculation of ones actions. Such lofty conversations would simply be out of place in the genre.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c15f684) étoiles sur 5 An improvement over the previous books 3 septembre 2003
Par Gary M. Greenbaum - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book brings us to 1941, and the start of the Second Great War.
Two themes dominate this book--the consolidation of power in the South by the Freedom Party, and the preparation for war by each side (and also by the individual characters). This book is an improvement over the previous two inter-war books--perhaps because the material is more interesting, appalling as the Freedom Party's actions are, they make better reading than the Great Depression.
Turtledove has the sense not to stick too close to the historical script. While the 1936 Olympics in Richmond parallel the ones in Berlin, there is no Jesse Owens analogue (um, incidently, until after WWII, the IOC awarded BOTH Olympics in a given year to the same country routinely. Where were the Winter Olympics held? Miami?). There is no Munich Pact as such, and most of the aggressive moves by the historical Germans are combined into an effort to regain the U.S.'s Great War territorial gains (and not even all of them). There is no Kristallnacht, but no shortage of violence by the Freedom Party on blacks.
Some of our frustration at what seem to be Turtledove's annoying, invulnerable characters is relieved as more than one bite the dust, including one of the most irritating. Their roles as point-of-view characters are inherited by near relatives, alas.
Turtledove gets his characters set for conflict--two of the new characters will be our "typical GI" and "typical sailor" types. We see that we will have a fighter pilot, an intelligence officer, and others giving us viewpoint in war--including a concentration camp head.
The author's introduction of charactes from our own timeline as characters in this is often amusing ("Dutch" Reagan as commentator of a football game causes a character to think of him as a "great communicator"), sometimes obscure (Jerry Voorhis as US Ambassador to the CSA? Will we meet Nixon in the next book?), and sometimes annoying (a philandering Joe Kennedy). Since most of these were born 20-50+ years after the point at which Turtledove's timeline departs from our own, it could be wondered if Turtledove is not undermining his own logic.
There are other quibbles (if the entire black sharecropper class is being thrown off the land by Featherston's tractors, that is far more people than the token homeless we see), but on balance an improvement on previous books. One hopes Turtledove will let the story go its own way in the upcoming books, rather than a slavish retelling of World War II, but that already seems a false hope (with an aircraft carrier for the US getting radar, we seem to be headed rapidly towards a Battle of Midway).
A good effort, and hoping for even better.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9bc1dec4) étoiles sur 5 Prelude to war 3 janvier 2004
Par Gary Stern - Publié sur
Format: Relié
First off, I gave this book four stars but If you are a fan of Harry Turtledove and have been following this story it could potentially be higher. This is the seventh book in the series that began with "How few remain" in which the premise of a Confederate victory with the aid of Great Britian during the civil war led to the creation of two bitter and often hateful enemies on the american continent.
Turtledove uses this novel to expand on the roles of previous characters within the series as the CSA sinks deeper and deeper into the fascist vision of the Hitler-like Jake Featherston and his Freedom Party. Using a large cast of characters, some which you may love and some you may just want to stop their whinning, Turtledove continues to flesh out the reality of this world of an america divided.
One thing I would have liked to see more of would be interaction with Europe. Throughout the series, Turtledove seems to neglect that sphere, concentrating almost too completely on North America. Despite its flaws, this book is a good read for those who have enjoyed the series thus far. For those who have not read the rest of the series, I would recommend instead starting at the beginning with "How Few Remain" or reading one of Turtledoves stand alone novels like "Ruled Brittannia"
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9bc132a0) étoiles sur 5 Jake Featherston Is Out Of Control 16 septembre 2004
Par Sir George Martini - Publié sur
Format: Poche
The Victorious Opposition is the seventh book in this series. I don't understand why Turtledove has to describe each character's background every time they appear in the book, because most readers will probably have already read all of the previous books like I have.
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