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Telling It Like It Wasn't – The Counterfactual Imagination in History and Fiction - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Telling It Like It Wasn't: The Counterfactual Imagination in History and Fiction

Catherine Gallagher


Historical “what-if” scenarios abound in our current political, academic, legal, cultural, and literary discourses. This book reveals the origins and development of the counterfactual mode of historical thought, exploring its reasoning, uses, and the analytical and narrative forms it takes. The book traces the actual history of counterfactual history from its eighteenth-century roots in religious debates, moral philosophy, and military sciences to its current applications in fields like economic history and reparative justice. And it explores the historical-counterfactual mode in narrative fic ... More

Keywords: alternate history, alternate-history fiction, counterfactual history, counterfactuality, fictionality, history and literature, national character

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226512389
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226512556.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Catherine Gallagher, author
University of California, Berkeley