Schooled as they are to believe that the Civil War was a purely domestic affair, many Americans will be surprised to find an entire volume devoted to its international implications. According to this author, the War Between the States ""was fought as much against Europe's Emperors, who were conspiring to establish their protectorate over North America, as against the feudal slave-holders of the South"". Abraham Lincoln, whose maxim was ""one war at a time"", exerted a fantastic quantity of diplomatic skill and political energy staving off the need to engage in overt warfare with the British, French, Austrians, Spanish, and others who formed and re-formed alliances for the purpose of re-asserting European influence among the former colonial areas of North, Central, and South America. The most severe test of America's determination to enforce the Monroe Doctrine came about when Napoleon III and Franz Joseph of Austria placed Maximilian upon the throne of Mexico's new ""empire"". Confederate leaders interpreted this move to mean that the South could expect cooperation and material support from the European powers, in return for certain concessions, which they promptly offered. Had this assumption accurately reflected the full picture, it might have altered the entire course of history. Not only is this book a commendable work of scholarship, it is also a fine example of how good writing and a fresh approach can put new life into a subject that has begun to wear more than a little thin.