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How Civil Wars Start

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How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F. Walter
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Jan 11, 2022 | ISBN 9780593506080 | 438 Minutes

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“Rigorously researched and lucidly argued, How Civil Wars Start is an arresting wake-up call.”—Esquire

“One of the most-discussed titles of the moment.”—Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post

As a political scientist who has spent her career studying conflicts in other countries, [Walter] approaches her work methodically, patiently gathering her evidence before laying out her case.”—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

“[Barbara F.] Walter’s How Civil Wars Start is the civil-conflict equivalent of How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt—a much-needed warning that uses cross-national research to examine the United States. Given how prescient Levitsky and Ziblatt were, and how expert Walters is (she is a leading scholar of civil wars), it is a warning to heed. I’ve been skeptical of the notion that the United States is on the verge of another civil war. Walter has made me reconsider. . . . This is a book that everyone in power should read immediately.”—Jacob S. Hacker, The Washington Post

“Barbara F. Walter, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, has interviewed many people who’ve lived through civil wars, and she told me they all say they didn’t see it coming. . . . This is worth keeping in mind if your impulse is to dismiss the idea that America could fall into civil war again.”—Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times

“Drawing on her deep understanding of the causes of intra-state violence . . . Barbara F. Walter argues, chillingly, that many of the conditions that commonly precede civil wars are present today in the United States.”—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
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 . . .”—Ben Rhodes, author of After the Fall

“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

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