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The Storm is Here

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529418712

Price: £25

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The New Yorker‘s award-winning war correspondent returns to his own country to chronicle a story of mounting civic breakdown and violent disorder, in a vivid eyewitness narrative of revelatory explanatory power.

This is a searing book, exquisitely reported, lyrically told, and so vivid it will make your heart stop-a dark journey into what ails America Patrick Radden Keefe

On the morning of January 6, a gallows was erected on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. A little after noon, as thousands of Trump supporters marched past the structure, some paused to climb its wooden steps and take pictures of the US Capitol framed within an oval noose. Up ahead, the dull thud of stun grenades could be heard, accompanied by bright flashes. Several people carried Confederate flags. Others had Tasers, baseball bats, bear spray, and truncheons. ‘They need help!’ a man shouted. ‘It’s us versus the cops!’ No one seemed surprised by what was taking place. There was an eerie sense of inexorability, mixed with nervous hesitation. It reminded me of combat: the slightly shocked, almost bashful moment when bravado, fantasy, and training crash against reality.

In early 2020, Luke Mogelson, who had been living in France and covering the Global War on Terrorism, returned home to report on the social discord that the pandemic was bringing to the fore in the US. Soon, he found himself embedded with militias descending on the Michigan state capitol. From there, the story swept him on to Minneapolis, then to Portland, and ultimately to Washington, D.C. His stories for The New Yorker were hailed as essential first drafts of history. They were just the tip of the iceberg.

The Storm Is Here is the definitive eyewitness account of how–during a season of sickness, economic uncertainty, and violence–a large segment of Americans became convinced that they needed to rise up against dark forces plotting to take their country away from them, and then did just that. It builds month by month, through vivid depictions of events on the ground, from the onset of the pandemic to the attack on the US Capitol–during which Mogelson was in the Senate chamber with the insurrectionists–and its aftermath. Bravely reported and beautifully written, Mogelson’s book follows the tradition of some of the essential chronicles of war and unrest of our time.

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Reviews

We can now induct Luke Mogelson into that vital band of warrior storytellers-from Tim O'Brien and Michael Herr to Phil Klay and Elliot Ackerman-who, with great eloquence and moral courage, have labored, on both the battlefield and the page, to keep America honest about its foolish wars.
Bob Shacochis
Mogelson gives a nuanced, empathetic look into lives irrevocably altered by conflict . . . His writing is reminiscent of Hemingway's . . . The reader trusts Mogelson's steady, lucid prose to outline the inner lives of these men
The Nation (on These Heroic, Happy Dead)
Mogelson avoids dwelling on trauma but circles it constantly, carefully exploring its fringes.
New York Times (On These Heroic, Happy Dead)
The Storm is Here is a sterling example of why Luke Mogelson is one of the most indispensable journalists working today. Meticulous, unsparing and as brilliant as it is unsettling, this book is a survey of American bedlam. Our future as a nation to no small degree hinges upon our ability to grapple with the concerns Mogelson chronicles in these pages.
Jelani Cobb
An account of great consequence by one of the best reporters in the world. It is no coincidence that Luke Mogelson happened to be in the crowd outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He had been tracking this movement for months. And it is no surprise to read how he joined the surge because in that moment and in countless others, all over the globe, Mogelson has been a model of courage, daring, and attentiveness. He is the indispensable witness of our times, and he brings deep insight to this essential document.
Ted Conover
Luke Mogelson is one of the finest war correspondents of his generation and in The Storm is Here he returns home and surveys the dangerous fault lines dividing his own country. Long before the cataclysmic events of January 6, 2021, Mogelson was covering the early tremors of paranoia, bigotry and discontent, and on the day itself he was among the insurrectionists at the Capitol, in the eye of the storm. This is a searing book, exquisitely reported, lyrically told, and so vivid it will make your heart stop-a dark journey into what ails America.
Patrick Radden Keefe
A terrifying and essential book that anyone who loves this country should read, and a powerful reminder of the value of fair-minded, clear-eyed, compassionate reporting. Mogelson (brilliantly, calmly) puts the reader behind the scenes of the current chaos. The result, for this reader anyway, was a resolved, startled realization of how much I have taken for granted, and a renewed commitment to democracy and justice. Electrifying and inspiring
George Saunders
Luke Mogelson has single-handedly pioneered a generation of journalism: Visceral immersion, recorded in forensic high-fidelity, analyzed with deep, moral perspective. His book is an instant classic- not only the definitive battlefield account of America's "communal delirium," but also a haunting prophecy of a history unfinished.
Evan Osnos
Bearing clear-eyed witness, Luke Mogelson puts himself at the roiling center of conflicts that have riven our nation. He wades into danger to talk with everyone- conspiracy believers, Proud Boys, victims of race hatred, ordinary heroes bent on saving what is good about us. This book is filled with reverence for the fallen, grief for the living, unthrottled mourning for the betrayals of our country's highest principles. Don't let democracy die. Pick up this book. It's all in the title, dear reader. The Storm is Here.
Louise Erdrich
The Storm is Here is a remarkable piece of work - an up-close eyewitness account of the breakdown of American society, as it happened, in the waning days of the Trump era. In Luke Mogelson's mesmerizing narrative, the chaotic blur of traumatic events that led up to January 6th 2020, unfolds in lucid succession, and we are left with the brutal truth of how America's unreconciled demons - all the racism, all the wars, all the hatreds- have triggered its present undoing. This is perhaps Mogelson's finest achievement. By moving on the very frontline of history, by witnessing, talking and listening to both sides as fairly and honestly as he possibly can, he offers fellow Americans a chance to look in the mirror, perhaps to take stock, and to say: "So-this is how it ends."
Jon Lee Anderson
A searing account of a year that changed America forever. Luke Mogelson has written an intensely moving, brave, and vivid account of his extraordinary journey into the shadowlands of American politics. His voice is lyrical, wise, and compassionate. The Storm is Here is a fearless, must-read account of the burgeoning conflict deep within the American soul. I can't recommend it enough.
Henry Hemming
An amazing, clear-sighted, moral book. There are sinister energies in the United States today, forces which affect us all, and only great writing can take up the task of exposing them. The Storm is Here is an indispensable work of reportage, a classic of close witnessing and keen understanding, offering insight and story in a time of confusion. It immediately calls to mind James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and Norman Mailer's The Armies of the Night.
Andrew O’Hagan, London Review of Books