THE ROAD TO FORT SUMTER by LeRoy Hayman

THE ROAD TO FORT SUMTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Beginning with dramatic flashes forward to the firing on Sumter and backward to Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin, this is somewhat easier and more readable than, say, Goldston's Coming of the Civil War (p. 11, J-Il), but chiefly differentiated by the author's ""moderate"" stance on the question of slavery. It's implicitly suggested that Lincoln's original willingness to compromise with the moral evil of slavery (by allowing it to continue in those southern states where it was both legal and economically necessary) was just about the right position for his day and age, and that ""intemperate"" abolitionists (particularly William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown who emerge as the paramount villains here) were primarily responsible for the hardening of pro-slavery feel/rig in the South during the 1830's (that Whitney's invention had led to a doubling of the cotton production during the previous decade is not mentioned in this context). The bias is never so blatant as to be intentionally misleading, but librarians who may object to the more forthright condemnation of the slave-owning class expressed in other recent titles ought to object at least as strongly to this unsympathetic treatment of their idealistic opponents.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1972
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell