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To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Jamie Malanowski, lead writer of The New York Times’ highly acclaimed Disunion blog, masterfully recounts the origins of America’s greatest national tragedy in real time. Drawing on diaries, speeches, and newspaper accounts of the six months leading up to the first shots fired on Fort Sumter, And the War Came chronicles the events that tore the nation apart, and delves into the hearts and minds of the men and women who tried in vain to avoid a conflict on American soil. From the controversial election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 and the failed Crittenden Compromise to the secession of seven Southern states and the election of Jefferson Davis, Malanowski draws indelible portraits of the politicians and soldiers who controlled the country’s destiny. And by unfolding, week by week, the major issues and emotional nuances that led to the Civil War, he sheds new light on the darkest period in American history.

Jamie Malanowski has been an editor at Time, Esquire, and Spy, and is the author of the novel The Coup.

This is an extraordinary collection, a hugely important deep-dive into the difficult waters of Civil War studies, done with provocative insight, great scholarship and truly original thinking. As we confront the hard truths and persistent relevance of the most important event in American history, on the occasion of its 150th anniversary, it’s comforting to have this volume as a guide and a goad.

Ken Burns, director and writer of The Civil War


“When Jamie Malanowski, whose talent as a writer I came to admire when we worked together at Spy a quarter-century ago, wrote his first few pre-Civil War columns for the The New York Times last year—-terrific accounts of the gloomy prelude to our nation’s bloodiest and most formative chapter—-I wrote to him, underscoring the great impact his work on the period might have. That his articles on the topic would someday be published in a collection—-as they have been done in this inspired e-book-—seemed, even then, the natural course of action. The list of Civil War historians is frightfully long. But the truly able journalists among them are exceptionally few. And Jamie Malanowski, as readers of And the War Came will quickly discover, is not only on that short list, but perhaps somewhere very near the top.”

Graydon Carter, Editor-in-Chief, Vanity Fair


“Jamie Malanowski brings a historian’s eye and a journalist’s ear to deliver a
breathtaking ride through America’s most perilous year. Reading And the War Came is like re-living the rise of Lincoln and the fall of national unity in
real time.”

Harold Holzer, Chairman, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation


“The Civil War is one of those events we think we know cold. But I guarantee you that Jamie Malanowski’s riveting,day-by-day chronicle of the lead-up to war will fill gaps you didn’t know you had, deepening and enriching your sense of the most politically consequential six months in American history. “And the War Came” is the next best thing to time travel.”

Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday

“History happens, especially during national crises, in disjointed, unpredictable, and often utterly surprising ways. Jamie Malanowski’s ‘And the War Came,’ based on the New York Times’s marvelous ‘Disunion’ series, demonstrates with verve and riveting detail, how Americans collapsed into secession and war in 1860-61. Malanowski writes with informed clarity; this book will be a lasting record of our own commemorative moment as well as an enduring work of good history.”

David W. Blight
Yale University, author of “American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era”

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