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The Next Civil War

Dispatches from the American Future

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Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized meets Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us in this deeply researched work of speculative nonfiction that takes a fiercely divided America and imagines five chilling scenarios that lead to its collapse, based on in-depth interviews with a range of experts—published on the first anniversary of the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

On a small two-lane bridge in a rural county that loathes the federal government, the US Army uses lethal force to end a stand-off with hard-right militias, or anti-government patriots. Inside an ordinary diner, a disaffected young man with a handgun takes aim at the American president stepping in for impromptu photo-op, and a bullet splits the hyper-partisan country into violently opposed mourners and revelers. In New York City, a category 2 hurricane plunges entire neighborhoods underwater and creates millions of refugees overnight—a blow that comes on the heels of a devastating financial crash and years of catastrophic droughts, and tips America over the edge into ruin.

These nightmarish scenarios are just three of the five possibilities most likely to spark devastating chaos in the United States that are brought to life in The Next Civil War. Drawing upon sophisticated predictive models and nearly two hundred interviews with experts—military leaders, law enforcement officials, agricultural specialists, environmentalists, war historians, and political scientists—journalist Stephen Marche predicts the terrifying future collapse that so many of us do not want to see unfolding in front of our eyes. Marche has spoken with soldiers and counter-insurgency experts about what it would take to control the population of the United States, and the battle plans for the next civil war have already been drawn up. And not by novelists. By colonels.

No matter your political leaning, most of us can see America is barreling toward catastrophe—of one kind or another. Relevant and revelatory, The Next Civil War plainly breaks down the looming threats to America and is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of its people, its land, and its government.

Dave Gillespie

Stephen Marche is a novelist and culture writer who has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Esquire, and pretty much everywhere else. His books include three novels, Hunger of the Wolf, Raymond and Hannah, and Shining at the Bottom of the Sea, as well as The Unmade Bed and How Shakespeare Changed Everything. He lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

  • Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster (January 4, 2022)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982123239

Praise for THE UNMADE BED:

The Unmade Bed is a rollicking read and a very frank look at an important set of issues from the male perspective.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of Unfinished Business

“Stephen Marche is a very brave man: in The Unmade Bed he makes the case that relations between men and women have never been better. Because he is also a very brilliant writer, he pulls it off. A thrilling read, no less because his wife has provided footnotes.” —Ian Brown, author of Sixty

“In often poetic prose, he recounts some deeply personal experiences that make him question cultural gender roles and his own confusion amongst them… The book feels almost like a type of cerebral entry an educated writer, father, or husband might make to himself in his journal: a private fact-finding mission to meditate on the rules of today and better survive the culture of tomorrow. Thankfully, Marche made this particular journal entry public." —Booklist

Praise for Hunger of the Wolf:

“Spellbinding . . . No word is out of place in this taut multigenerational tale.” —Publishers Weekly

“Brilliant . . . Marche has created a stunning, evocative, and impressionistic account of the ascent of wealth in the twentieth century. . . . The Hunger of the Wolf could be Marche’s breakthrough novel.” Booklist, starred review

“Superb . . . Part realist portrait of upper-crust lives, part lycanthropic fairy tale . . . An entertaining, curious journey into the beating black hearts that occupy the penthouse suites and those who aspire to join them.” —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for How Shakespeare Changed Everything:

"Informed, ebullient and profoundly respectful." —Kirkus Reviews

"[How Shakespeare Changed Everything] is informative and entertaining." —Publishers Weekly

Praise for Shining at the Bottom of the Sea:

"May be the most exciting mash-up of literary genres since David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas." —The New York Times Book Review

Praise for Raymond + Hannah:

"As if Abelard and Eloise had finally stumbled into the Internet Age." —Los Angeles Times

"So dazzling, so unsentimental... A work that is both beautiful and confusing. In other words, an honest love story." —The New York Times Book Review

More books from this author: Stephen Marche