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Receptions of Alternate History

By Anders Landøy Solli


The Battle of Dorking: Reminiscences of a Volunteer was first published in 1871, following the decisive German victory in the Franco-Prussian war and the unification Germany and the formation of the German Empire and asks “what if” the new leading military power in Europe invades Britain. Red Storm Rising was first published in 1986, in the final stages of the Cold War, and during a time of heightened tension between the West and East. It asks “what if” a Third World War breaks out in Europe and the Atlantic between NATO countries and the Warsaw Pact. The works were both exceedingly popular at the time of their release, Red Storm Rising a New York Times Best-Seller, and The Battle of Dorking printed in six editions and selling 110 000 copies. They reflect cultural pressures at the time of their publication, and were received differently by literary critics, the public and politically. While The Battle of Dorking criticised the established government policy and was negatively received by that same establishment, Red Storm Rising’s approval of the established government is reflected by the endorsement it received in return. Literary reviews of the works mirrored somewhat the political reception, while military circles accepted both works in different, yet similar ways

Publisher: 'Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Library'
Year: 2019
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