If the South Had Won the Civil War

Navigation Home       Counterfactual

Kantor, Mackinlay. If the South Had Won the Civil War. New York: Bantam, 1961. In print: New York: Forge, 2001.

Kantor's counterfactual novella began as an oversized Look magazine article from 1960, and has remained in print as a famous speculation about this great "what-if" of history. Kantor imagines Grant falling from a horse at Vicksburg, and dying (Grant actually did take a fall there but survived). Grant's death, coupled with a little more vigor by Lee on the first day of Gettysburg, leads to a two-nation system in the former United States. Somewhat whimsically, Kantor has the Confederacy gradually abandoning slavery and in fact reuniting with the North in 1960 after having been allied with the old Union (and an independent Texas) in the World Wars.

The 2001 paperback includes Kantor's 1967 essay on the writing of the Look piece, called "An Historical Inversion."


To the top of this page