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Download Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford,Reagan Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford,Reagan Audiobook, by Jeff Greenfield Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (302 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeff Greenfield Narrator: Jeff Greenfield, Michael Kramer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781101432389
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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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 2/18/2014

    " Although the book is about Cold War politics, it ends up being genuinely engaging by taking three events considered to be turning points in the careers of certain politicians (a failed assassination attempt on JFK during the 1960 presidential race, RFK's assassination, and Gerald Ford's public relations fiasco related to Eastern Europe during the 1976 Presidential race) and goes with what almost happened. From there, the author uses his political knowledge to construct an alternate history. All three narratives are interesting based on the merits of the extremely realistic presentation (each alternate timeline is meticulously researched and could easily have happened in real life); however, another fun part of the book are the minor political shout-outs scattered throughout. While some are easy to catch, others are a little trickier and encourage the reader to pay attention to how events that came very close to happening, and, more importantly, the events that actually happened, have influenced more modern political figures. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in politics, especially that of the Cold War era. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clay Davis | 2/17/2014

    " A fair look at the political system in America. The wars both military and political were very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick | 1/21/2014

    " Three interesting alternate political histories revolving around the 1960, 1968 and 1976 presidential elections. Not sure I agree with all of Greenfield's conclusions (for example, I think Nixon's candidacy would've imploded if it became clear he would face another Kennedy) but they are definitely well-researched and cleverly presented. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger | 1/19/2014

    " Interesting book. We all love "what if's" but this one takes it to high levels. What if RFK survived the assassination attempt was the most fascinating. The others are a stretch and not as dramatic, but fun nonetheless. Only problem is the book is imbued with the mainstream media liberal approach that these kinds of solutions are the best for the country. Not so much. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy | 1/16/2014

    " Only read the first 100 pages - too boring "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 1/14/2014

    " This is a very intriguing book of what ifs that focuses on the interweaving lives of JFK, LBJ and RFK. As someone too young to remember the turmoil and struggles of the 1960's this book does provide interesting hypothetical scenarios and takes great pains to describe opinions and thoughts. For me though, it was too painfully long and executed with such great detail that I could only make it through the first 2/3s. If my "to-read" was shorter i would have hung in there! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kimi Falkowski | 1/12/2014

    " I did not finish this book. I think the idea of re-writing history is amazing, but I prefer fact to fiction in this case. I also noticed some historical inaccuracies, which made it harder to finish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen Mccorquodale | 12/19/2013

    " This is definitely a 'must read' for anyone who enjoys political history. This is a novel but written by an author who knows politics and history and can make a reasonable projection of what might have happened with a slight twist of history. An interesting read and very readable "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 12/4/2013

    " I expected a different kind of book. I did enjoy the backroom dealings based upon the author's experiences as a reporter during these times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marti Garlett | 11/12/2013

    " I was initially very interested in the book, but after a couple of chapters became bored. Because none of this happened. So what do the imaginings matter? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 10/9/2013

    " Enjoyed the first of the three stories that I have read so far, enjoyable and likely come back to read other two in the future at some point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Baynham | 2/16/2013

    " I love "what if" history, especially when it very easily could have occurred; great book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George Richard | 2/10/2013

    " Very good political Alt. Hist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerald Camp | 10/10/2012

    " Enjoyed the book. The author obviously knows the politicians he is writing about. Just think: if Gerald Ford had been just a tiny bit smarter we would not have had to endure Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush! If only! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carly | 10/3/2012

    " Interesting alternate history, though I became bogged down by some of the details. Perhaps it was my own lack of passion for American History, but I actually didn't finish the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail Strickland | 6/4/2012

    " I would have given this one 5 stars, but I hate to gush. That said, this is a great read for anyone who has ever wondered "what if". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 12/28/2011

    " Intriguing look into how things could have been had certain historical events been altered, even in a minor way. Great book for history buffs, especially of the JFK era and beyond. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 4/17/2011

    " Starting slow, I'll give it a chance.

    Still slow. Can't get past Kennedy assasination.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 4/4/2011

    " The alternative histories here were a great idea, heavy with details. But by the second section, I was ready to return it to the library.the details begin to make it drag, and there were too many names and facts I was unfamiliar with. Can't recommend to anyone I know.
    "

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About the Author

Jeff Greenfield is the host of the PBS news show Need to Know, a Yahoo! News columnist, and a veteran of CBS News, ABC News, and CNN. A five-time Emmy Award–winner, he is the author of twelve books. He lives in New York City and Santa Barbara.

About the Narrator

Michael Kramer has narrated many audiobooks over the last twenty years; his favorite authors include Donald E. Westlake, Thomas Perry, and Robert Jordan. He has received fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards for his work. He lives in the DC area, where he also works in theater as an actor and director.