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Harold Stassen
Stassen
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1907
Date of Death: 2001
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Baptist
Occupation: Educator, Lawyer, Politician
Parents: William Stassen, Elsie Mueller
Spouse: Esther G. Glewwe
Children: Glenn, Kathleen
Political Party: Republican Party
Turtledove Appearances:
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Worldwar
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): Aftershocks
Type of Appearance: Direct
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Direct
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): In at the Death
Type of Appearance: Oblique contemporary reference
Harold Edward Stassen (April 13, 1907 – March 4, 2001) was the 25th Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943 and a later perennial candidate for other offices, most notably and frequently President of the United States in the Republican primaries. He attempted to run for president in the 1940, 1944, 1948, 1952, 1964, 1968, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992 elections.

Harold Stassen in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

Harold Stassen, along with Thomas Dewey and Robert Taft, was an early contender for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1948.[1]

Harold Stassen in WorldwarEdit

Harold Stassen was Earl Warren's Vice President, and succeeded Warren when he committed suicide in the wake of the explosive-metal bomb destruction of Indianapolis by the Race in 1965.[2]

Stassen was not privy to Warren's decision to attack the Race's Colonization Fleet in 1962.[3] In the aftermath Warren's death, Stassen set about removing those members of the administration who had known about Warren's actions. Stassen was already certain that he wouldn't be elected in 1968, a fact that he privately shared with his Soviet counterpart, Vyacheslav Molotov.[4]

Stassen soon learned of the new American use of rocket propelled asteroids as weapons. During a meeting with Sam Yeager, the man who blew the proverbial whistle on Warren, Yeager attempted to broach the subject with Stassen. Stassen pointedly shared nothing with Yeager.[5]

Literary Comment Edit

Harry Turtledove's use of the then-living Stassen in an unaltered form as a character in a work of fiction is unusual. Typically, Turtledove makes broad references, leaves living people unnamed (e.g., G. Gordon Liddy aka "Gordon" in this series), or somehow changes the name (e.g., Kurt Waldheim/Kurt Haldweim in In the Presence of Mine Enemies, or John Glenn/Glen Johnson in this series). Stassen died only a month after Aftershocks was first published.

Harold Stassen in Joe SteeleEdit

Governor Harold Stassen received the Republican nomination for the 1948 presidential election just days before the outbreak of the Japanese War. As Stassen was a complete unknown outside of Minnesota, incumbent President Joe Steele had anticipated an easy victory.[6] However, the new war meant that Steele actually had to campaign.

Stassen did somewhat better than expected. He carried Maine, Vermont, Delaware and Maryland (in private, Steele's aid Lazar Kagan was horrified by the loss of Maryland, suggesting Steele's machine had broken down there). Stassen was also able to pick up some of the states that contained resettled wreckers.

However, Steele carried the rest of the electoral vote, and won his fifth term.[7]

Harold Stassen in Southern VictoryEdit

Minnesota's enthusiastic young governor was the Republican nominee for the United States presidency in 1944. While he didn't win and carried third in the election, he did manage to take the usual Republican states of Indiana and Kansas as well as Minnesota. More impressively, he took his home state, as well as incumbent President Charles W. La Follette's home state of Wisconsin, traditionally Socialist states.[8]

Literary CommentEdit

Stassen's name is not given in the text, but the description matches the historical figure.

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 353.
  2. Aftershocks, pg. 292.
  3. Ibid., pg. 296.
  4. Ibid., pg. 305.
  5. Ibid. pgs. 405-409.
  6. Joe Steele, pg. 354.
  7. Ibid., pg. 359.
  8. In at the Death, pg. 527.

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