I am normally weary of any attempt to flatten the cause of the Civil War into any one side of the debate – slavery or state’s rights. The Civil War, indeed human history as a whole, are typically much too complex to try and point to singular causes. In this work, however, Charles Dew makes a great case for his thesis that the Southern Commissioners exemplify that the fear of the abolition of slavery, along with all of its subsequent consequences, was the chief reason for southern secession. How does Dew accomplish this? Simply by quoting directly from the sources with very good commentary. This book was eye opening, precisely because it was well researched and referenced. I am still of the mind that their was no one cause of the Civil War – neither slavery or state’s rights – but I am convinced more so now than ever that slavery and racism were without a doubt among its chief causes, and I have sources to prove it.
I suggest this book for any lover of history. Though I would especially recommend it for someone like myself who struggles with the tension of dissatisfaction aimed towards both Confederate and Union causes. I read this book as an assigned reading for a course through Liberty University.