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Publisher's Summary

Here is a brilliant and brilliantly entertaining tour de force of American politics from one of journalism's most acclaimed commentators. History turns on a dime. A missed meeting, a different choice of words, and the outcome changes dramatically. Nowhere is this truer than in the field where Jeff Greenfield has spent most of his working life, American politics, and in three dramatic narratives based on memoirs, histories, oral histories, fresh reporting with journalists and key participants, and Greenfield's own knowledge of the principal players, he shows just how extraordinary those changes would have been.

These things are true: In December 1960, a suicide bomber paused fatefully when he saw the young president-elect's wife and daughter come to the door to wave goodbye.... In June 1968, RFK declared victory in California, and then instead of talking to people in another ballroom, as intended, was hustled off through the kitchen.... In October 1976, President Gerald Ford made a critical gaffe in a debate against Jimmy Carter, turning the tide in an election that had been rapidly narrowing. But what if it had gone the other way?

The scenarios that Greenfield depicts are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible. You will never think about recent American history in the same way again.

©2011 Jeff Greenfield (P)2011 Penguin

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  • Story

The Power of Random Chance

I thought the idea for this book sounded fascinating and something I would love. I think the concept of how small changes and a random quick decision can have powerful long reaching effect on our lives weighs heavy in hindsight. So much can hinge on things that seem unimportant at the time.

The problem for me was that the book just missed the mark. It bogged down after the first third and I lost interest. It was a shame because it was a fun premise and had potential. In the end boring and slow. Sorry to say that I can't recommend this one.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Goes bad one third through...

First section is almost worth buying the book for. After that the author got carried away simulating what would have happened if Robert Kennedy had not been killed. It goes on for way too long. The author seems to think highly of the Kennedy's and gets progressively more generous in inventing a different future that could have been with Bobby becoming Prez. Not planing to buy from this author again.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Big Disappointment.

I love the "what if.." premise in thinking about history. In the hands of a good historian it can be provocative and entertaining. Unfortunately Mr. Greenfield's exegesis is overwrought, often tedious and overlong. He brings firsthand knowledge to his scenarios with some marginally imaginative ideas about how things might have been but that doesn't compensate for his turgid style.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Read!

This book is well researched, well written, and fascinating! I was amazed at the connections I made to actual history when listening to alternate scenarios. I highly recommend this audiobook. I look forward to listening to others by Jeff Greenfield.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dan
  • Collierville, TN, United States
  • 11-05-12

A great ride for political and historic junkies

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Only if they love political history, would they enjoy the level of historical detail the author uses to justify his alternative realities.

What did you like best about this story?

The level of historical detail used to explain why the plots take their directions.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Even better than I expected

Having seen Jeff Greenfield on TV for many years I expected a well thought-out, well researched collection of alternative histories, but what I didn't expect was it to be so well written that I felt that it brought me into the hall of power, as his new history played out. BIG kudos to Micheal Krammer for his performance bringing these well know modern historic figures to life.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Change comes 3 times.

Would you consider the audio edition of Then Everything Changed to be better than the print version?

Yes.

What did you like best about this story?

The alternate histories.

Which character – as performed by Michael Kramer – was your favorite?

LBJ. The man knows how dt do Southern accents.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

What Could have Been.

Any additional comments?

I'm sure any alternate history fan will give this a listen.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful