An excellent outline profile of a historical situation, this cross-cut analysis of pre-Civil War issues is told in a form seldom run across in juveniles. Where the lives of the two protagonists are told, it is only as they relate to the problems at hand-slavery and the Kansas- Nebraska Bill- and the debates instead emerge as the real central characters. Dramatically, the account begins with a town meeting in Boston's Faneuil Hall showing the various opinions- abolition- containment, Union first, pro-slavery. Moving then to Douglas' career we see him as the brilliant politician he was- a man who lacked caution and insight but who was smart enough to woo Southern support for the railroad he wanted to build. Conditions in Kansas itself deepen the account to the point where Douglas' path crosses with Lincoln's in a blaze that was nevertheless brought to control under the common aim of preserving the Union. Stopping short of the War's start, this sets the causes in perspective in an interesting, valuable manner. Recommended.