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We the States: An Alternate History Novel
Adam Sivitz, author
Imagine if the United States Constitution had never been ratified and George Washington had never become President. In We the States, author Adam Sivitz creates an alternative narrative acted out by the founding fathers of the United States. As the story unfolds, readers find George Washington at home in Virginia impatiently awaiting news of each state’s response to the constitution. Patrick Henry will persuade Virginia to reject the constitution, which will lead to the formation of three independent countries, and Alexander Hamilton will become the leader of one of the newly formed countries. Within the tumultuous and divisive chain of events, Sivitz weaves the tale of two slaves owned by Washington. Their story displays the darker side of U.S. history and underscores the struggle for freedom for so many, while also reminding readers of the ongoing fight for equality and justice.
American history buffs will be captivated by Sivitz’s eerily believable story of an alternate reality in which the original U.S. Constitution is rejected and three countries are formed instead of one. The roles of the Founding Fathers are different, and George Washington is not elected as the first president. He stays at Mount Vernon with Martha and their slaves, including his cook, Hercules, and Martha’s maid, Ona Judge. The two slaves make plans to escape while the countries are established from “a nation torn asunder, scattered in three”: The National States of America elects a life-term “supreme executive,” who becomes the “Supreme Leader”; the Confederation of Columbia is led by a president; and the Republic of New England elects a prime minister. The fictional wars and political intrigue are ingeniously intense, with acrid infighting between the emerging leaders and threats from outside countries. Expanded insights on historical personalities include a temperamental Martha Washington, a dictatorial Alexander Hamilton, and a bombastic Aaron Burr, while the story of Hercules and Ona’s escape adds depth to the novel. This what-if tale of a country’s formation is frighteningly plausible, and its commentary about the toxins of divisive politics is chilling. (BookLife)