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Andrew DelbancoAmerica Aflame…is not a book about things that never happened. It is a riveting, often heartbreaking, narrative of things that did. Yet it also compels us to ponder choices not made, roads not taken—always with the implicit question in mind of whether the nation might somehow have spared itself the carnage of the war and, if so, what kind of nation it would have become…[a] masterly synthesis of political, social, economic and religious history…in painfully vivid prose…Most history books try to explain the past. The exceptional ones, of which “America Aflame” is a distinguished example, remind us that the past is ultimately as inscrutable as the future.
—The New York Times