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The Wrath to Come


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An examination of Gone With the Wind, the myth of the Lost Cause and what they can tell us about American history and culture today.

About the Author

Sarah Churchwell is Professorial Fellow in American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is the author of Behold, America: A History of America First and the American Dream and Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby. She was co-winner of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer's Award and longlisted for the 2021 Orwell Prize for Journalism. She lives in London.


Eye-opening and at times jaw-dropping; a powerful reminder of the prejudices and suffering horrors of the recent past, and a call to arms to learn from the lessons of history. Highly recommended -- Peter Frankopan
An extraordinarily and shockingly powerful read... With meticulous research and fine structure, it offers a most disturbing arc that transports us from now back to what we thought was another era but which is, in reality, so deeply enmeshed with the intolerances and prejudices of today. At times the narrative took my breath away. I was riveted from start to finish -- Philippe Sands
Sarah Churchwell's brilliant and provocative guide to understanding the twenty-first century dis-United States of America explores America's myths about itself, through that great Hollywood myth about the South and racism, Gone With the Wind. If you want to know why Donald Trump connects with so many Americans today, as a link to the 'Lost Cause' of the Confederacy, Churchwell's account offers the answers -- Gavin Esler
A brilliant and important book that exposes the truths hidden by one of the world's most famous stories and, in so doing, reveals how the (im)moral weight of this tale has not only shaped American culture over the last century but is shaping American politics and society today. One of the must-reads of the year -- Suzannah Lipscomb
The Wrath to Come is packed with fascinating, well-researched and often jaw-dropping history * Daily Telegraph *
Churchwell's excoriating analysis is energising * Literary Review *
Stylish and thoughtful, Churchwell's book is an exemplary exploration of how Gone with the Wind reflects, and continues to affect, American culture * Spectator *
A painful reflection on how the ghosts of the civil war still haunt US culture * The Times *
The case Churchwell builds against Gone with the Wind is a compelling one * Sunday Times *
Rich in detail and rigorously argued, this is cultural history at its very best * Tortoise Media *

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