Saturday, May 19, 2007

Abe Lincoln, Alternate History, and the News

President Lincoln has been in the news a lot recently. Two articles are making the wire service rounds looking at alternate history scenarios of Lincoln's Administration. In one, he dies of small pox in 1863. In the other, he survives his assassination in 1865. Both articles are fun to read but with all alternative history it is hard to guess just how different events may have unfolded had the scenarios occurred other than that things would have been radically different.

Here are the two articles:

What if Lincoln had lived? "Abraham Lincoln might have survived being shot if today's medical technology had existed in 1865. Given that scenario, the question is whether Lincoln, the president who led the United States during the Civil War, would have recovered well enough to return to office, a doctor and a historian said Friday at an annual University of Maryland School of Medicine conference on the deaths of historic figures."

Study: Abraham Lincoln Nearly Died From Smallpox in 1863. " Abraham Lincoln might have been in the early stages of smallpox when he delivered his Gettysburg Address, lauded as one of history's greatest speeches and a masterpiece of brevity. The speech's powerful first words — 'Four score and seven years ago ...' — belied a weak and dizzy President Lincoln, concludes a new study. Nearly one-third of those who contracted smallpox in the mid-19th century died — a fate that would have dramatically changed U.S. history had it befallen Lincoln in 1863, midway through the Civil War."

1 comment:

PurpleSlog said...

My favorite Lincoln alternate history was ashort story from maybe 20 years ago called "Abe Lincoln in McDonald's" by James Morrow.