An alternate future for Europe

By Angelos Chaniotis, Professor in the School of Historical Studies

"According to an anecdote known in several variations, some people debate what would have changed in the history of the world if Khrushchev had been assassinated in 1963 instead of Kennedy. A well-known statesman gave a sharp response: 'Only one thing is certain: Onassis would not have married his widow.' 'Alternate histories' are the source of fascinating novels, such as C.J. Sansom’s Dominion (2012), in which Lord Halifax becomes prime minister in May 1940, instead of Churchill, and Great Britain capitulates, or Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America (2004), in which the pro-Nazi pilot Lindbergh becomes president of the United States in 1940.

Alternate history is an interesting exercise of the mind for historians as well. What would have happened if in 1920 Greek King Alexander’s German shepherd had not taken on the macaques of the royal estate? Alternate history allows us to better understand the reasons why things turned out the way they did. But it can also inspire us to imagine for the future something that was not possible in the past."

Read more at eKathimerini.