How We Win the Civil War

Securing a Multiracial Democracy and Ending White Supremacy for Good

The bestselling author and national political commentator pulls no punches on what America needs to do to strengthen its multiracial democracy

“If we first recognize that we are in a war, and then learn the lessons and follow the lead of those who have shown they know how to prevail, we can definitely win the Civil War, secure a multiracial democracy, and end white supremacy for good.”
—from the introduction

Steve Phillips’s first book, Brown Is the New White, helped shift the national conversation around race and electoral politics, earning a spot on the New York Times and Washington Post bestseller lists and launching Phillips into the upper ranks of trusted observers of the nation’s changing demographics and their implications for our political future.

Now, in How We Win the Civil War, Phillips charts the way forward for progressives and people of color after four years of Trump, arguing that Democrats must recognize the nature of the fight we’re in, which is a contest between democracy and white supremacy left unresolved after the Civil War. We will not overcome, Phillips writes, until we govern as though we are under attack—until we finally recognize that the time has come to finish the conquest of the Confederacy and all that it represents.

With his trademark blend of political analysis and historical argument, Phillips lays out razor-sharp prescriptions for 2022 and beyond, from increasing voter participation and demolishing racist immigration policies to reviving the Great Society programs of the 1960s—all of them geared toward strengthening a new multiracial democracy and ridding our politics of white supremacy, once and for all.


“Politically charged, thoughtfully reasoned.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Spirited and persuasive, this is a rousing call for change.”
Publishers Weekly
“Steve Phillips reminds us that the Civil War was a war for democracy, and that the struggle against racism in American society and politics has always been a struggle for democracy. He shows, further, that in our own time, we can save democracy from right wing authoritarianism by mobilizing Black, Latino, and Asian American voters rather than chasing the elusive ‘middle’ of the electorate. It’s not only good politics, it’s a strategy that has worked.”
—Mae Ngai, author of The Chinese Question
“Required reading for every volunteer and professional progressive organizer. . . . How We Win the Civil War is a foundational contribution to the emerging field of multiracial democracy. By centering community organizers rather than abstract manifestos, the book demonstrates an authentic commitment to democracy. How We Win the Civil War is well positioned to shape election outcomes, policy outcomes, and debates about the future of multiracial democracy.”
ACS Expert Forum

News and Reviews

The Takeaway

Listen to an interview with Steve Phillips about How We Win the Civil War on The Takeaway.

The Guardian

Read an excerpt from How We Win the Civil War in The Guardian.

Publishers Weekly

Read a review of How We Win the Civil war by Steve Phillips in Publishers Weekly.

New York Times Bestsellers

The New Press has made history – for a second time – having two titles in the New York Times paperback nonfiction bestsellers list, simultaneously:


Books by Steve Phillips

Brown Is the New White
How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority

Steve Phillips

Goodreads Reviews