Ballantine, Aug 2001, 27.95, 503 pp.
By 1918 the Great War fought in North America and Europe led to the victory of the United States and Germany over the allies. With that success, the United States takes control of the continent by taking territory from the weakened Confederate States and turning Canada into a colony.
President Roosevelt facing a socialist reelection challenge led by Upton Sinclair sends venerable war hero General Custer to apply tight military rule over Quebec. Unbeknownst to the President and the General is that a rabid angry nationalist plans to kill Custer.
Meanwhile in the Confederate States, sergeant Jake Featherstone tries to stir support using demagoguery by blaming blacks and the United States for the abject poverty wracking his decimated nation. Due to his charismatic personality, his Freedom Party gains rapid support even as they splinter an already divided nation further.
Harry Turtledove continues his massive tome documenting an alternative historical time line with the start of a new series, American Empire. The story line of BLOOD & IRON returns survivors from the Great War tales struggling with a new era of “peace” in which it seems many people prefer a return to the recent days of war. The current tale is exciting and loaded with non-stop action. However, new readers will struggle to gain a foothold as the events of the previous series impact this plot since Mr. Turtledove keeps his time continuum valid and reliable, but quite complex. Old fans will have a field day with the revised “Roaring Twenties”.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner