The biographer of Calhoun in the adult field turns her knowledge and gifts to this area. The important issues and events covering 50 years prior to the Civil War are sharply delineated in a superior overview of the basic causes of secession, a catastrophe that was avoided many times by many great men, but whose inevitability strikes us from every viewpoint. From 1819 when Jefferson (then retired) saw the clouds of dissension gather, to the Missouri Compromise when Henry Clay saved the Union, to the Webster-Calhoun debates, ""the south remained legally right on the question of States Rights and the north remained morally right on the question of slavery."" The story of the Texas revolution and Sam Houston's part in saving the Union, the Dred Scott case, Harriet Beecher Stowe's effect on public opinion, John Browne's revolt and the Lincoln-Douglas debates are graphically outlined for the high school student who seeks genuine understanding of an event about which tons of fiction have flooded the teenage market. Excellent reading.