An Early Alternate History Series (on Radio!): "Stroke of Fate" (1953)
I'd like to extend a hearty h/t to Washington and Lee literature professor, Hank Dobin, who recently alerted me to the existence of what I see as a significant early example of post-1945 alternate history in a very unconventional medium: radio.
In 1953, NBC debuted the alternate history series, Stroke of Fate. The series featured 13 original radio plays examining a variety of counterfactual scenarios, including the Civil War, the Norman Conquest, and the Nazi re-occupation of the Rhineland.
To me, the most notable fact about the series is that received the active support of professional historians, including Allan Nevins, Richard B. Morris, Gordon Craig, Moses Hadas, and James Thomas Flexner. The series also received support from the Society of American Historians.
I'd like to learn more about the chief writers, Mort Lewis and George Faulkner, and why they came up with the series in the first place. 1953 is the same year that Ward Moore's famous novel, Bring the Jubilee, was published, but the radio show began before the novel appeared -- so any influence is likely nil.
I haven't yet listened to any of the broadcasts, which can be accessed HERE, but they promise to be interesting.
Episode 01, 4 October 1953
What if, at Winfield Scott's request, Robert E. Lee became General of the United States Army at the beginning of the Civil War, instead of later leading the Army of the Confederacy?