As the author points out in his preface, a full century of scholarship has been devoted to an intensive scrutiny of the military, political, and--to a lesser but still considerable extent--economic and social aspects of our Civil War. Yet no one, until now, bas given more than cursory attention to the very important ramifications of the experience in terms of the lasting impact it had upon literature, philosophy, and ideology. Prof. Frederickson confines his efforts for the most part to the changes brought about in the thoughts and feelings of Northern? intellectuals, particularly those who left substantial records of their personal reactions in the form of journals or correspondence. But necessarily he has also made a careful assessment of how, and to what extent, the war served as a ""watershed"" in the development of national characteristics. The author has a facility for the apt quotation and unobtrusive but accurate description Of personalities as diverse end complex as Emerson, Whitman, Parkman, and Henry James. He has mastered an enormous body of material in order to convey an impression of the era and its issues in a lucid commentary.