Then Everything Changed

Then Everything Changed

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

eBook - 2011
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Veteran CBS News reporter and commentator Greenfield speculates what would have happened if an actual failed attempt to assassinate JFK before his inauguration instead succeeded; 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; and, Ford wins re-election, but in 1980 it's Hart vs. Reagan, and Hart wins.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2011.
ISBN: 9781101486429
1101486422
9781101485187
1101485183
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Contents: Foreword: A simple twist of fate
Palm Beach, Florida, December 11, 1960, 9:45 a.m.
Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California, June 4, 1968, 11:45 p.m.
Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California, October 6, 1976, 7:00 p.m.
Afterword: How reality shapes speculation.
Summary: Veteran CBS News reporter and commentator Greenfield speculates what would have happened if an actual failed attempt to assassinate JFK before his inauguration instead succeeded; 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; and, Ford wins re-election, but in 1980 it's Hart vs. Reagan, and Hart wins.

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AaronAardvark1940
Sep 05, 2017

This book was in the Schusterman-Benson display on alternate facts, and is definitely a fun read.
Greenfield put a tremendous amount of research into this book. He uses three major "what if" situations, blended with historical facts, to create alternate American histories. What if the pre-inaugural 1961 assassination attempt on JFK had succeeded, what if Sirhan had not murdered RFK, what if Ford had not said there was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe? His fantasies have the taste of real possibilities, although the RFK scenario seems a bit stretched to me.

j
june2813
Jul 26, 2012

Greenfield is a credible and well respected journalist who used his skills to render a very plausible alternative set of outcomes, which had their origins in presidential history. He stays very firmly rooted in actual fact and lets the
"what if" portion of his tale spin out logically. Greenfield has liberally used the well documented political style and often the words of the these historical figures to flesh out his speculative possibilities.
If there was any flaw I found his wry humorous manner of assigning heavily covered news events to different people, such as Gary Hart having a liason with a staff intern, a bit smarmy. But overall it's a good read and if nothing else, I learned everything old is new again.

g
GrumpyDave
May 05, 2011

Entertaining bit of speculative fantasy. The book is well-written, and I found it to be a compelling read. I found it difficult to put down. Some readers may feel that the author's speculations in the book lean too much to the left, but I think such speculation is justifiable, considering how the national political environment has shifted to the right. The author is not writing a purely fictional account of what could have happened, but does base his speculations on events and attitudes of the periods. Anyone who wonders what might have been if ... should enjoy reading this book.

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