The New York Times has a review of a fascinating new book, Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan by Jeff Greenfield. It shows just how easily things could have veered another way.
Reading Michiko Kakutani's review of Then Everything Changed, you're left with the impression that this could be a great sourcebook for people wanting some new ideas for developing different alternate realities than the usual World War II and Civil War ones. The three novellas in the book hinge on a successful assassination of JFK soon after his election to the presidency, RFK surviving his 1968 assassination, and Gerald Ford defeating Jimmy Carter in 1976. The ramifications of each of these changes reach decades ahead, into such fascinating pathways as Gary Hart and Edward Kennedy fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination.
It's all part of Greenfield's conviction that "history doesn't turn on a dime; it turns on a plugged nickel." [New York Times]