The real life of Jefferson Davis has been so misrepresented and so encrusted with sentimental hogwash from Civil War history that the rather bare biography at hand- which starts with Davis' family traits and continues up to his first glorious hours of Presidency- is appealing for its very simplicity and directness. A bias does exist, perhaps the longish selections from Davis' public speeches are too much for the general reader- but one feels constantly a desire and quest for fairness rather than anything resembling needless praise. The Davis who emerges is well bred, and shows very early his courage and decision. The loss of his beloved first wife and later of a son, the savage contumely of his colleagues on the floor of Congress, the wounds of battle and near-disaster caused his career by youthful folly, -- none of this embittered Jefferson Davis. The biography points up the personal warmth of even his fiercest political enemies, and his own unshakable belief in the principle that the Christian influence of the white man over slaves far outweighed the benefits of emancipation. Davis himself behaved generously toward his slaves, and preserved the ideals of social equality and progress. An effective piece of historical redemption, with its special appeal for the South.