This is a standard, sometimes tiresome, sometimes dubious study of the Civil War. Barney reiterates some by now hackneyed propositions. The war was not intended to free the slaves but to preserve the Union; the South's attempt at an ""aggressive defense"" drew them into ""total war""; the Confederacy was undermined by inflation rather than scarcity; though many blacks fled to Union lines, there were no slave revolts, and the Southern blacks were treated abominably by most Union commanders. Barney completes the book with a number of cryptic fragments. The war arose from ""inadequacies"" of the Constitution, but ""Americans could never decide on the meaning of their Civil War. . . . A revolution was spawned. . . but it was not a political one."" Barney's portrayal of the abolitionist movement as groupings of churchmen is simply wrong, and allows him to take a sterile view of the political forces that were in fact shaping Lincoln's policies. The book includes an inordinate volume of racial slurs hurled by Northerners, along with ""Massa-dis""es and ""Massa-dat""s which, if intended to show that the Civil War did not solve the ""racial question,"" certainly develops no new perspective. An unnecessary addition to an already well-covered field.