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I watched "Saving Private Ryan" through necessity , rather than choice. Keep in mind, I am a comedy person and unashamed of it, and normally have to be dragged kicking and screaming to view a dramatic piece. But I'm doing research into the representation ofJewish people in American film, and I had heard about a scene where one of the troopers, who is Jewish, waves his dog tags in front of a march of POWs chanting "Juden, Juden Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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They were too stubborn to split the difference. Turtledove told me that it was Richard Dreyfuss, the actor, who first gave him the idea of the American Revolution as a subject for alternate history. The two collaborated on a novel, The Two Georges , that is set in the s and based on the premise that the Revolutionary War never happened. The artist Thomas Gainsborough commemorated the deal in a painting, The Two Georges , that is emblazoned on money and made ubiquitous as a symbol of the felicitous "union between Great Britain and her American dominions.


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The novel, which contains some delightfully bewildering passages "The British Empire and the Franco-Spanish Holy Alliance were officially at peace, so skirmishes between the North American Union and Nueva Espana seldom made the newspapers or the wireless" , includes a description of the painting :.

Bowing before the king, George Washington was made to appear shorter than his sovereign. The blue coat that proclaimed his colonial colonelcy was of wool like that of George III, but of a coarser weave speaking of homespun.

Lost in the Victory: Reflections of American War Orphans of World War II

Not all its creases were those of fashion; with a few strategic wrinkles and some frayed fringes depending from one epaulette, Gainsborough managed to suggest how long the garment had lain folded in its trunk while Washington sailed across the Atlantic to advance the colonies' interests on the privy council George III had established. Turtledove told me by email that he had an "epiphany" when he traveled with his family to the World Science Fiction Convention in Winnipeg, Canada in , shortly before he published The Two Georges.


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As he read a book from the Little House on the Prairie series to his daughter at the hotel, he came upon a section about a Fourth of July celebration "on the plains in the late nineteenth century, with fireworks and with tub-thumping speakers talking about how the United States had broken away from British tyranny and was the freest country in the world as a result. And there I was reading this in the country next door to mine, a country as similar to mine as any two nations on earth, a country just as free as mine—and a country that had never broken away from Britain at all.

It was a thought-provoking experience. Turtledove explained that he's toyed with the concept of the American Revolution in other works as well, including The United States of Atlantis , a book, as he described it, "set in a world where the eastern quarter of North America rifted away from the rest of the continent 85,, years ago and got shoved into the middle of the Atlantic by plate tectonics different from the real ones.