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Literature / Holding Out for a Hero: Gustav Stresemann Survives

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This would probably be plain "Holding Out for a Hero", but some friend nicked it.

This is a work of Alternate History written by Scott Blair, known as "Faeelin" over on the discussion board of AlternateHistory.com (home of Look to the West, Decades of Darkness, Superpower Empire: China 1912 and AH.com: The Series), where it is published as a serial.

The timeline is of course about Gustav Stresemann, interwar German statesman and victim of what was perhaps the worst-timed stroke in history. It goes on to explore the consequences, first in Germany and then, as the ripples expand, across the world. The absence of Nazi Germany doesn't mean nothing but sunshine and rainbows by any means, however.

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The story is told partly as third-person vignettes from the altered world, partly in an authoritative and impartial history-book tone, the whole sprinkled with footnotes which are sometimes purely informative but just as often display the author's characteristic sarcastic wit.

Read it here. Or the After-Action Report version here. In addition, here's the timeline's profile on the AH.com Wiki.


This story provides examples of :

  • Alternate History: Of the Second Sino-Japanese War. But then, you knew that.
  • Big Bad: Josef Stalin rather fits the bill.
  • Dirty Communists: After Hitler gets it, they become the main antagonists.
  • Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Two German boys on a school trip to France in The '60s argue jokingly which way to get laid is better; by hooking up with the just-got-to-know French girl who's supposed to be easy meat just for being French or by living in a Spanish commune full of supposedly sexually sophisticated girls to be taught from?
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  • Humiliation Conga: Dance, Krushchev, dance!
  • Kicked Upstairs: German President Kurt Schumacher from the SPD tries to do this with Konrad Adenauer from the Centre Party note  by making him first administrator of a new East African League mandate.
  • Knight Templar: President La Rocque of France has a lot of aims that it's easy to sympathise with. Shame he's a pseudo-fascist.
  • Large Ham: The title already says it all.
  • No Fourth Wall: The characters sometimes feel the need to call the author out on something.
  • Shown Their Work: You're going to learn some interesting history from this.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: A realistic, even cynical portrayal of a fairly idealistic premise.


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