Such primitive distinctions may well be of quite limited usefulness, but from the great number of Civil War books which have been inspired by the centennial of that confused body of events, it appears that there are two main approaches: to consider, as Mr. Stern emphatically does, that ""human bondage"" was the crucial reason for its occurrence; or to view it in more specific, less idealistic, and usually economic terms. Also it appears that the former approach, at least for the time being, is going to prevail. Mr. Stern has written, and edited, many distinguished books on the subject; this one, for several good reasons, would provide; a proper coda both to his own efforts and to those of the other specialists. The subtitle is self-explanatory: ""World Aspects of the American Civil War."" Little of the material, of course, is new, but no one else has ever dealt with diplomacy, espionage, propaganda, and naval aspects all at once. As the author notes, little has been written about the non-military side of the Civil War, while much--perhaps too much--has been published about the actual battles. His conception of it, as far more than a War Between the States--as, in fact, the first that ""went around the entire globe"" and the one which ""prepared the way for the greater conflicts of the twentieth century"" --is well taken and well realized.