The Big Switch
By Harry Turtledove
(Del Rey Books, Hardcover, 9780345491862, 418pp.)
Publication Date: July 19, 2011
List Price: $27.00*
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In this extraordinary World War II alternate history, master storyteller Harry Turtledove begins with a big switch: what if Neville Chamberlain, instead of appeasing Hitler, had stood up to him in 1938? Enraged, Hitler reacts by lashing out at the West, promising his soldiers that they will reach Paris by the new year. They don’t. Three years later, his genocidal apparatus not fully in place, Hitler has barely survived a coup, while Jews cling to survival. But England and France wonder whether the war is still worthwhile.
Weaving together a cast of characters that ranges from a brawling American fighter in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain to a woman who has seen Hitler’s evil face-to-face, Harry Turtledove takes us into a world shaping up very differently in 1941. The Germans and their Polish allies have slammed into the gut of the Soviet Union in the west, while Japan pummels away in the east. In trench warfare in France, French and Czech fighters are outmanned but not outfought by their Nazi enemy. Then the stalemate is shattered. In England, Winston Churchill dies in an apparent accident, and the gray men who walk behind his funeral cortege wonder who their real enemy is. The USSR, fighting for its life, makes peace with Japan—and Japan’s war with America is about to begin.
A sweeping saga of human passions, foolishness, and courage, of families and lovers and soldiers by choice and by chance, The Big Switch is a provocative, gripping, and utterly convincing work of alternate history at its best. For history buffs and fans of big, blood-and-guts fiction, Harry Turtledove delivers a panoramic clash of ideals as powerful as armies themselves.
PRAISE FOR HARRY TURTLEDOVE
“Turtledove is the standard-bearer for alternate history.”—USA Today
“[Turtledove’s] mastery of the ever-widening ripples that small changes make in history is unchallenged, his storytelling always gripping, and his research impeccable.”—Library Journal
“Turtledove is always good, but this return to World War II . . . is genuinely brilliant. . . . The characterizations in particular bring the book to extraordinary life and will make most readers hope this is the beginning of another saga.”—Booklist
West and East
“There’s plenty to satisfy fans of military strategy, tactics, and armaments.”—Publishers Weekly