“Drawing on her deep understanding of the causes of intra-state violence in places like Myanmar, Northern Ireland, Syria, and Yugoslavia, Barbara F. Walter argues, chillingly, that many of the conditions that commonly precede civil wars are present today in the United States. This is an important book for all Americans to read.”—Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, authors of How Democracies Die
“How Civil Wars Start is a stop sign for us—and an imperative book for our time. The evidence-based preventative measures could not be more urgent. Read and act.”—Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist
“How Civil Wars Start is a sobering but engrossing book. It is so tempting to ignore or deny Walter’s carefully researched and reasoned conclusions, which is precisely the response she is warning us against. . . . Highly recommended for anyone interested in preserving American democracy.”—Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO, New America
“This engaging book from one of the country’s most authoritative scholars of civil wars is a dire warning. Governing amid diversity is an incredible challenge, and this book is an important guide to preserving our democracy.”—Kori Schake, Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
“Barbara F. Walter has drawn on decades of experience and unparalleled expertise to write a powerful and indispensable book. How Civil Wars Start brilliantly illuminates the history of civil wars and the profound dangers to our union today, serving as both a warning about the stakes in our politics and a call to action for those who want to preserve multiethnic democracy and the values that America is supposed to stand for.”—Ben Rhodes, author of After the Fall
“How Civil Wars Start is a convincing, carefully reasoned, and therefore all the more urgent and alarming look at the state of American democracy. A great challenge for Americans is understanding that the forces that have torn apart other societies might do the same to this ‘exceptional’ nation. Barbara F. Walter has done a great service in demonstrating the risks the United States is now courting—and how they might be offset.”—James Fallows, co-author of Our Towns
“A vivid, compelling book on a globally vital issue. Timely, important and original.”—Richard English, author of Does Terrorism Work?
“The idea that a second American civil war is brewing is not alarmist hyperbole. . . . The image that should be brought to mind is not of columns of blue- and gray-clad soldiers meeting on battlefields; instead, it lies in the scattered rubble of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. . . . Arresting reading that identifies obstacles and dangers to democracy, many at the highest levels of government.”—Kirkus Reviews