A broad history of the Confederacy, encompassing the Civil War and the periods just before and after, discusses the South in its many aspects from statesmanship and military tactics to social and economic effects, with scholarly acumen and a command of its dramatic elements. Unbiassed in his interpretations, Professor Eaton begins his study with a thorough airing of events leading to the conservative revolt, fanned by such incidents as the Harpers Ferry raid. Secession he points out, did not necessarily mean war to the South, though the North regarded it as illegal, but from there on the familiar succession of events led only to battle, ironically undermined by the mediocrity of a South that thought itself the champion of independence and vastly superior through the type of society it had. Eaton's outline, in the next eight chapters, of the war itself, is complete from the military as well as the social viewpoint. In talking of tactics, the officers, armies and the more personal and economic reasons for their failure come alive- almost tragically as their story merges with that of the civilians; and goes down in a sunset of bloody hues. Thoroughgoing, and with wide use of letters and private papers as source material, this should fill a gap created by the many more recently published specialized studies.