EP072: Joe Steele


(Update 9/24: Many of you will probably get a duplicate download. This time it’s deliberate. I had requested permission to play Janis Ian’s song, “God and the FBI,” but she was touring Europe and didn’t get my e-mail in time. She just responded and graciously gave me permission, so I’m revising the file and including it at the end. If you don’t want to hear the whole story again, just skip forward 41 minutes. Thank you, Janis!)

By Harry Turtledove.
(Inspired by the song “God & the FBI” by Janis Ian, published by Windham Hill. Song included with Janis Ian’s permission.)
Read by Stephen Eley.

Two men left. Franklin D. Roosevelt. D for Delano, mind. Governor of New York. Cousin to Teddy Roosevelt. Already ran for Vice President once. Didn’t win. Cigarette holder. Jaunty angle. Wheelchair. Paralysis. Anguish. Courage. As near an aristocrat as America grows. Franklin D. Roosevelt. D for Delano.

And Joe Steele.

Joe Steele. Congressman from California. Not San Francisco. Not Nob Hill. Good Lord, no. Fresno. Farm country. That great valley, squeezed by mountains east and west. Not a big fellow, Joe Steele. Stands real straight, so you don’t notice too much. Mustache, a good-sized one. Thick head of hair just starting to go gray. Eyelids like shutters. When they go down and then come up again, you can’t see what was behind them.

Rated R. Contains profanity and strong political themes. Not happy politics, like we have today. 1930s politics.

Referenced sites:
Wikipedia: Alternate history
AlternateHistory.com
“If Lee Had Not Won the Civil War,” by Winston Churchill
Today in Alternate History (by Robbie Taylor)
Bring the Jubilee, by Ward Moore
Turtledove Wiki