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    Review of 1632 by Eric Flint

    Baen, 2000

    When a small West Virginia town is translated into the middle of the 30 years war in Germany, its residents know they'll have a struggle to survive. The war destroyed much of Germany and was a definite low point in human misconduct. Still, survival isn't enough for Mike Stearn and some of the other West Virginians (especially not the militant unionists). They want to start the American Revolution a century and a half early. For a while, at least, they have access to modern technology--but how long that can last against the disciplined opposition of most of Europe remains to be seen.

    Fortunately, a labor shortage is the least of Stearn's problems. Starving peasants flock to anyone willing to protect them and, after a brief internal battle with the isolationists, they are admitted into a new United States. Still, this new republic can only ally with the Swedish King and the history books report that he doesn't survive the onslaught of the great mercenary general Wallenstein.

    Author Eric Flint (see more reviews of novels by this author) delivers a fast-paced and convincing account of a new nation, conceived in liberty and in the fields of battle. I liked Flint's decision to make the ordinary people the heros of the story. Preserving the real values of America shouldn't be something for the elite only and Flint delivers more 'everyman' heros than you can shake a stick at.

    Although Flint isn't quite the master of military fiction as, for example David Drake (see reviews of novels by this author), he delivers some fine battles in this novel including a historic battle between King Gustav Adolf and Tilly.

    1632 makes a compelling and fascinating read. Note: Flint is the originator of the wonderful BAEN Free Library which makes some of BAEN's best selling and popular books freely available in the internet.

    Four Stars

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