If you could change a single event in history, what would it be?
I think that by and large history is more durable than that. I sincerely doubt, for example, that staying Gavrilo Princip’s hand and saving Archduke Ferdinand would have stopped the Great War. Or that if Von Stauffenberg had placed his bomb on the other side of the table that history would have been greatly changed. That was already too late, for one thing.
The suggestion of assassinating Adolf Schicklgruber in 1920 is probably closer to the mark. Would the horrors of the Third Reich have come about in just the way they did without Adolf Hitler?
The idea that you can prevent an invention is fatuous. When it’s time to railroad everybody railroads. Being able to persuade somebody to do something differently may be equally ill-conceived.
Prevent Lincoln’s assassination? Preserve Gandhi from the assassin’s bullet? Stop the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr? Save Pushkin? Nurse Mozart back to health? Phone in a warning about the nineteen guys getting on planes on September 11, 2001?
I might think smaller. I might have engaged the person from Porlock in conversation for a half hour or so. At least we might have more of a great poem.
If you could change some single event in history, which would it be?