Clifford Dowdey has done more than any other writer to give us the picture of life inside Richmond during the siege; Elswyth Thane wrote of it more briefly -- both are novelists primarily. Here is an amply documented record which gives intimate seups of a proud city, briefly capital of the Confederacy, drawn from contemporary newspapers, letters, diaries. Richmond -- before and during the Civil War, her andified army of Southern artistocrats, the glory and glamour of defending her honor -- and then the long decline of continued defeat, inflation, starvation, epidemic, blockade. This is the spirit of a proud city which defied the Union to preserve her state rights. This is the story of a short-lived glory -- and of the great figures that are among her immortals, particularly Lee and Stonewall Jackson -- and later Lincoln as Southerners saw him after defeat. One could wish the author had molded his material into a more colorful, personal, inspired document. The substance was there -- but the life is not.