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Melancholy Accidents

Shocked by the epidemic of gun violence in America, acclaimed writer Peter Manseau found himself absorbed by the “melancholy accidents” that appeared in nineteenth-century newspapers: daily accounts of accidental gun deaths that seemed as unfortunate as they were unavoidable. In Melancholy Accidents, Manseau collects, annotates, and introduces many of these articles, painting a devastating portrait of our nation’s long, bloody relationship with firearms. Fully illustrated with period etchings and sketches, Melancholy Accidents is a wholly unique look at the dark side of American history.

PETER MANSEAU holds a doctorate in religion from Georgetown University and is currently a fellow at the Smithsonian. He is the author of Rag and Bone, Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter, Vows, and One Nation, Under Gods. He is the winner of the National Jewish Book Award, the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Jewish Literature, the Ribalow Prize for Fiction, and a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and he has also been shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Prix Médicis étranger, awarded to the best foreign novel published in France. He is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, and he lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

Praise for One Nation, Under Gods

”One Nation, Under Gods is a refreshing, compelling, and surprising reexamination of our nation’s history that puts lie to the oft-quoted idea that America was founded as ’a Christian nation.’” —Reza Aslan

”With tales of secret faiths, false tolerance and quiet yet formidable dissent, each chapter is a window onto lives that were lived on the margin of Christian narratives . . . [A] lively, refreshing account.” —The New York Times Book Review

”One of those too-rare works of innovative history that also manage to be works of literary art. Its series of interlocking stories, rich in color and depth, combine to offer a new picture of America, both past and present.” —Adam Goodheart