With the exception of an interlude a generation or so ago when the attempt was made unlook all sorts of doors with it, economics has usually been the most neglected of the useful keys to the understanding of American history. Thus the validity of a study such as this even if its sphere of inquiry is self-limiting. Dr. Gates is a Professor of American History at Cornell, and also has done distinguished work in agricultural economics with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. How and why the military end of the War Between the States was partly shaped by crop distribution and farming methods, North and South, is the larger portion of Dr. Gates' concern here, but incidental information also covers factors quite crucial to long-range causes , and effects, of that struggle. The scholarly focus delineates this book's readership.