An encyclopedia of Robert Sobel's alternate history For Want of a Nail that anyone can edit!
For Want of a Nail
For Want of a Nail: If Burgoyne Had Won at Saratoga is one of the classic works of alternate history. In it, business historian Robert Sobel wrote about an alternate world where the American Revolution was unsuccessful. However, instead of writing a novel set in an alternate timeline, Sobel chose to write a history book from an alternate timeline. The result is a history of an alternate North American continent from 1763 to 1971, including all the scholarly apparatus of an academic work: footnotes, a bibliography, three appendices, a map, an index, a preface by the author (an alternate Robert Sobel), and a critique by Professor Frank Dana, a hostile historian.
The book's point of divergence from our own history is a British victory at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777, leading to defeat for the American colonists in the American Revolutionary War, which is known in the alternate history as the North American Rebellion. Afterwards, the defeated colonies are reorganized into the Confederation of North America, a dominion of the British Empire that gradually gains complete autonomy over the next sixty years. Meanwhile, the defeated rebels leave the colonies to settle in northern Mexico, where they found the State of Jefferson. In 1820, Jefferson and Mexico merge to form the United States of Mexico. For Want of a Nail then follows the histories of these two North American nations as they interact with each other and with the rest of a changed world, down to the time of the book's publication in the early 1970s.Like any history book, For Want of a Nail references thousands of people, places, events, and organizations, most of which are unique to the alternate history it describes. The Sobel Wiki exists to serve as an encyclopedia of this richly-detailed alternate world.
For All Nails
In 2001, a number of alternate history enthusiasts at the soc.history.what-if Usenet newsgroup (including Sobel Wiki creator Johnny Pez) joined together in the For All Nails project: to extend the Sobel Timeline past its original 1971 terminus, and to correct the various errors, contradictions, and improbabilities that For Want of a Nail suffers from. The result was a series of over 350 Usenet posts, mostly narrative vignettes of life in the Sobel Timeline, but also including newpaper and magazine articles, letters, and vitavision transcripts. Dan McDonald, one of the participants, began archiving the posts at his website, but real life intervened, as it so often does, and the kebe.com archive remains incomplete. In order to remedy this deficiency, the Sobel Wiki includes a second archive of For All Nails posts here.
These categories are probably the most interesting to first-time visitors.
Recently Created Pages
A list of the most recent pages created on the Sobel Wiki:
Theodore Lindsay (1844 - ?) was the publisher of the Confederation of North America's leading Conservative Party newspaper, the New York Herald, and a major power broker within the party in the late nineteenth century.
In the wake of Governor-General John McDowell's Age of Renewal speech of 11 October 1882, Lindsay published an editorial denouncing the speech. Lindsay urged the North American people to reject McDowell's leadership and instead support "a man who will recognize the old values of our nation, those cherished by Burgoyne and Dickinson, and not be moved to accept every nostrum that comes along."
It was clear that Lindsay considered himself that man, and when the Conservatives met in New York City to choose a party leader and nominee for governor-general for the 1883 Grand Council elections, Lindsay was one of the leading candidates. (read more)