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Publisher's Summary

Harry Turtledove, Ph.D., critically acclaimed novelist and "Master of Alternative History", enriches his compelling narratives with authentic period details. In this enthralling epic begun by Sidewise Award-winner How Few Remain and continued in Blood & Iron, the Great Depression devours the Roaring Twenties - leaving the USA and the CSA vulnerable.

As the Socialist Party battles Coolidge to retain the presidency in 1924, it seems as if it can do no wrong. The stock market soars, and the USA prospers. Although victors in the War of Secession, the CSA still reels from its loss of the Great War while the Freedom Party promises new vigor and pride. But should these gray-shirted fascists seize power, they may prove dangerous. Sharing world supremacy with Germany and bloated with prosperity, the USA fails to notice ominous events inside the weakened CSA.

©2002 Harry Turtledove (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about American Empire: The Center Cannot Hold

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Just Terrific

Story; Great Narration; Great Loved this book. 10/10 gonna read again, can't wait to finish the series.

1 person found this helpful

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Good stuff, poor production

The story and narration are excellent, but as unfortunately the norm for this series the mixing of the audio is awful. Lots of odd pauses and absolutely NO management of subchapters - one sentence will be from one character's perspective, and the next second you're in an entirely different one.

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5 stars!!!!

loved this book so much harry turtledove is great and the performance was amazing !!!!! 5 stars!!!!

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Another great installment in the series

Turtledove is really a master at the Alternative History genre. Of course, it's supposed to be an analogy to 1920s/1930s Germany but the way the author paints the story in English and in an American context is well done. It's easy to see modern populists also coming through when he paints the main character: Jake Featherstone in this story.

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Another amazing installment in this franchise.

Great story. Great performance. 100/100. Truly one of the best pairings of source material and voice talents on the platform. On to the next one!

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Tedious second entry in American Empire series

All of the flaws of Turtledove with very few pleasures. Turtledove insists on beating each character's signature trait into the ground. The sailor who sunburns is particularly annoying. Only a couple of the many many subplots are compelling (Cincinatus Driver, Clarence Potter). Some like the Mexican veteran are totally pointless. Tragic deaths and unlikeable characters galore. Gratuitous references to real historical events. (Hoobert Heever...ha,ha.) Not a fun read. Bring on WWII already.

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A wonderful and masterful book

Turtledove again has made an incredibly detailed interpretation of alternate history. I will get what I dislike about the stories out of the way. Turtledove has the infuriating habit of over analyzing things. A small detail may come up that has little bearing on the story. And I cannot count how many times he has used the phrase “__ and __ were two different things” or something like that in this series. That being said, Turtledove I have come to realize is playing the long game when it comes to book writing and if you have patience this is an extremely rewarding series. Little nods to historical facts can rise up and you realize he did it before many self described historians told you about it. You don’t Love all characters in the series but there is enough for anyone to find one they like, and I found myself genuinely attached to some. Thoughtful reimagining of certain parts of history come up that are not wild to believe in this universe ( although some are doubtful I.E. the invention of tanks). But in the end turtle dove has created an immersive a complicated story and has done a great job and I am excited for the next one!

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The Center does not hold.

Would you listen to American Empire again? Why?

I would. Not sure why to be honest.

What did you like best about this story?

The overall storylines, and the way they were narrated.

What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His narration, especially with different accents and dialects is excellent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Featherston is one of the characters I love to hate the way he treats people around him.

Any additional comments?

None.

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fascinating series

Good continuation of the series. I love the different points of view. love this book

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, not great

George Guidall is fantastic at reading the book, but the story doesn't tie together all that well. The author follows several characters through an alternate outcome if the South had won the Civil War, and the US was divided into two countries. It is an interesting thesis, but there are so many characters that I never bonded with one of them. Please note the recurring use of racial slurs (particularly the N word) gets taxing as a listener. Interesting, but not great.