Bring the Jubilee

Ward Moore
Bring the Jubilee Cover

Bring the Jubilee


Bring the Jubilee is told in two parts, entirely from the perspective of Hodgins "Hodge" Backmaker, citizen an alternate timeline United States. As a reader and historian, Hodge ponders many facts about the timeline - the Confederate states won the war and thrived afterward, the former United States stagnated, and the German Union won the Emperor's War (1914-1916).

In the first section of the book, Hodge leaves home and has adventures. Much is revealed about his character and some of the political climate, but not much. He also meets proponents of two different philosophies, allowing the author to comment on free will. This section is not as interesting to read, and it has been said that much of this past parallels the authors life.

In the second section, Hodge rescues a young woman in distress and joins a self-sufficient collective of scholars and intellectuals. Here the story really builds, gathering in action, more politics, a love interest, and eventually the invention of a time machine. Who better than history Hodge to travel back and observe the Battle of Gettysburg, where the South won the war?

This books is expanded from a novella released a year earlier, and I suspect the second section is the majority of that story. I found the novel a bit lacking for the added pieces, though it was included in David Pringle's list of the 100 best science fiction novels, among other accolades. I plan to track down the novella (collected in The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century) for reading soon.