A Nation Forged by Crisis

A New American History

by Jay Sexton

A concise new history of the United States revealing that crises--not unlike those of the present day--have determined our nation's course from the start

In A Nation Forged by Crisis, historian Jay Sexton contends that our national narrative is not one of halting yet inevitable progress, but of repeated disruptions brought about by shifts in the international system. Sexton shows that the American Revolution was a consequence of the increasing integration of the British and American economies; that a necessary precondition for the Civil War was the absence, for the first time in decades, of foreign threats; and that we cannot understand the New Deal without examining the role of European immigrants and their offspring in transforming the Democratic Party.

A necessary corrective to conventional narratives of American history, A Nation Forged by Crisis argues that we can only prepare for our unpredictable future by first acknowledging the contingencies of our collective past.

  • Basic Books; October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781541617223
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: A Nation Forged by Crisis
  • Author: Jay Sexton
  • Imprint: Basic Books

In The Press

"Sexton organizes his astute history around 'the greatest periods of crisis in each century of its existence'.... Claiming that, in the current unsettled times, Americans should 'revisit [these] previous moments of crisis,' Sexton's book offers an insightful roadmap of how the country got here."—Publishers Weekly, starred review


About The Author

Jay Sexton is the Kinder Institute Chair in Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri and emeritus fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University. The author of The Monroe Doctrine and Debtor Diplomacy, Sexton lives in Columbia, Missouri.