The scenes are set in vivid, picturesque prose, the characters are drawn in simple, easy-to-understand depth. And the battles are fought in the tempo of war. This non-fiction story of the Civil War relates many different points of view. It creates an understanding of the Southern as well as the Northern interests and points the way in shades of gray rather than black and white. The book reads as though it were an exciting novel of gray rather than black and white. The book reads as though it were an exciting novel not to be put down; yet it is historically accurate and interwoven with thousands of detailed accounts of battles, of people, of moods. Enlightening anecdotes about popular public figures, vivid accounts of crowd reaction to events, graphic style, and quotes from primary sources contribute to the recreation of the mood and meaning of the Civil War. Mr. Werstein writes in a lucid, well-organized prose and the Civil War will take on new dimensions for the serious as well as the light reader.