The War Before the War

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Winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

Winner of the Lionel Trilling Book Award

A New York Times Critics' Best Book of 2018

"Excellent... stunning."--Ta-Nehisi Coates

This book tells the story of America's original sin--slavery--through politics, law, literature, and above all, through the eyes of enslavedblack people who risked their lives to flee from bondage, thereby forcing the nation to confront the truth about itself. The struggle over slavery divided not only the American nation but also the hearts and minds of individual citizens faced with the timeless problem of when to submit to unjust laws and when to resist. The War Before the War illuminates what brought us to war with ourselves and the terrible legacies of slavery that are with us still.
Publication Date: 
November 5, 2019