How We Win the Civil War

Securing a Multiracial Democracy and Ending White Supremacy for Good

The bestselling author pulls no punches on what America needs to defeat white supremacy

“Reading this book is the first time I felt a sense of hope in a very long time.” —Sara Blanchard, co-host of the Dear White Women podcast

National political commentator Steve Phillips’s “politically charged and thoughtfully reasoned” (Kirkus Reviews) How We Win the Civil War helped chart the way forward for progressives and people of color, 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. Combining a powerful grasp of history with Phillips’s trademark, no-nonsense political critique, this “spirited and persuasive . . . rousing call for change” (Publishers Weekly) argues that we will not overcome 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 a new preface laying out what is at stake in the 2024 general election, Phillips delivers razor-sharp prescriptions for the new political season, including specific guidance for politicians, policymakers, and ordinary citizens alike. “A foundational contribution to the emerging field of multiracial democracy” (Spencer Overton), How We Win the Civil War is the essential political book for 2024 and beyond—showing us how to rid 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
How We Win the Civil War by Steve Phillips is a seminal and urgent work. It is both a practical guide and a call to our moral imagination to rise to the challenge of completing the unfinished business of America. It is truly valuable for anyone committed to building a multiracial democracy that leaves no one behind.”
—Senator Cory Booker
“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

Brown Is the New White Hits the New York Times and Washington Post Bestseller Lists


Books by Steve Phillips

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

Steve Phillips

Goodreads Reviews