Subtitled The Union in American Thought, 1776-1861, this book explores at length concepts of Union held during this period by presidents and politicians, editors and orators, diplomats, preachers, poets and ordinary American citizens. Quoting from what must literally be thousands of articles, speeches, editorials and poems, the author endeavors to explain and describe the changing theories of Union held during these years, and the different things Union meant to different Americans. Dividing the ""many-sided"" ideology of Union into categories, he tells, among other concepts, of Union as a Form and Function; as an Experiment; an Embodiment of Liberty; a Safeguard of the Constitution; a Policy and Spirit leading to the supreme motif of Union as an Absolute or Ultimate, and of the dangers menacing Union. Almost every word written about Union in this country from the Revolution to the Civil War must be included in this lengthy study, a hodgepodge of quotations and obscure phraseology which will appeal only to students of America's philosophical development. Other American historians, however, will value the book for its extensive and excellent bibliography and bibliographical notes.