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Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 16:19:19 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) DOORS: wars not fought

It is a given that the American Civil War did not happen in Otherworld, and
as a result there is still slavery.  (I think this also suggests that the
O-USA is far more agrarian, less industrialized, than E-USA, but I'll be
getting into that in a second.)

The strange flags in the hotel suggest, iirc, that the Austro-Hungarian
Empire still exists (two headed eagle on flag); if true, then there was no
General War in Europe (i.e., WWI), or if there was it was softer and
shorter.  If there was no WWI as we know it, then there was almost
certainly no WWII; with no WWII, there would be no USA cranking up the
factories to help win an industrial war; without a victorious post-war
industry there would not be the creation of the booming consumer state,
with color televisions, ice making refrigerators, and snazzy automobiles
(just three of the items lacking in O-USA).

Aside from the technology side (i.e., how much of our everyday technology
stuff is a result of leaps and bounds made during wartime R&D), there is
also the issue of Germany: Germany, German people, and things German play a
strange part in TAD.  Our perceptions of the Germanophonic world are
altered by and fixated upon the Nazi period . . . what impact, if any, does
this have upon our reading of the text?  That O-Germany perhaps had no
Nazis, no Hitler, no need for any of that?  The text uses standard Nazi
imagery ("Hogan's Heroes" is one example), but how might this be a complete
red herring (aside from showing a typical E-American mindset on E-Germany)?

I mention this in part because, having finished WILL, I can report that
Liddy has had a deep interest in Germany and Hitler, beginning from his
childhood days when he heard Hitler's speeches on the radio, up through his
incarceration when he did little German/Nazi riffs in his own adventures.



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