“E for Effort,” T. L. Sherred, 1947 – An investor (Ed Lefko) and an inventor (Miguel “Mike” Laviada) utilize a device able to film events from the past (Cortes’s conquest of Mexico, Alexander the Great, and the French Revolution), though the recordings lack sound. They film and dub several key moments in history and release them as movies. Their apparently well-hidden, large-scale production on Alexander is a hit with Hollywood producers, allowing them to gain a wider audience. Their films on the American Revolution and the Civil War are profitable in many cities, but controversial because they challenge dearly-held beliefs about the past. Ed and Mike develop a plan in which war can be forced out of existence by surveillance and exposure of military entities. Their next film about WW I and WW II more directly upends cherished myths around the world, and there are riots in some cities, for which they are arrested. During their trial, they demonstrate the machine and are acquitted. However, the U.S. government sequesters them and confiscates the machine. Ed and Mike realize that other world powers will not allow the U. S. to wield such an advantage, and despite their efforts, Washington is attacked by a preemptive nuclear strike.
Comments: Themes of myth, historicity, media and reality, nationalism, the malfeasance of governments, surveillance, and nuclear war.
Author: Wikipedia: “Thomas L. Sherred (August 27, 1915 – April 16, 1985) was an American science fiction writer.”