“David M. Potter’s magisterial The Impending Crisis is the single best account to date of the coming of the Civil War.” —Civil War History
David M. Potter's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Impending Crisis is "the classic study of of antebellum America" (American Prospect). Potter's sweeping epic masterfully charts the chaotic forces that climaxed with the outbreak of the Civil War: westward expansion, the divisive issue of slavery, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown's uprising, the ascension of Abraham Lincoln, and the drama of Southern succession. Now available in a new edition, The Impending Crisis remains "modern scholarship's most comprehensive account of the coming of the Civil War" (Journal of Southern History).
David M. Potter (1910-1971) was a professor of history at Yale and Stanford universities. He was posthumously awarded the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Impending Crisis, which his Stanford colleague Don Fehrenbacher completed and edited.
Don E. Fehrenbacher (1920-1997) was awarded the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Dred Scott Case, and edited the Library of America's two-volume collection of Abraham Lincoln's speeches and writings.
“Profound and original. The Impending Crisis is history in the grand tradition.” — Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review
“With a rare combination of nuance and narrative drive, David Potter... vividly portrays a nation coming apart. ... Potter writes with such immediacy that events long past feel like the present unfolding before our eyes.” — Andrew Delbanco, Wall Street Journal
“Modern scholarship’s most comprehensive account of the coming of the Civil War.” — Lacy K. Ford, Journal of Southern History
“David M. Potter’s magisterial The Impending Crisis is the single best account to date of the coming of the Civil War.” — Civil War History
“The classic study of antebellum America” — American Prospect
“The magnum opus of a great American historian.” — Newsweek