The Time to Save the Union.

By William J. Cooper

Alfred A. Knopf 30.00 332 pages

Many books have been written about the Civil War, President Lincoln, and Reconstruction.  You could build vast libraries just dedicated to books about those topics. But a new trend is emerging, thankfully, in history, exploring America between the election of Abraham Lincoln and his inauguration as President in March.  This period of time was racked with chaotic events, grandiose speeches, silence from the President, and South Carolina leaving the country. It is refreshing to find a book that covers this time period in detail, while not covering ground that has been dissected many times before. Author William J. Cooper does an excellent job explaining all the different forces, personalities, and conflicts that were tearing the Union apart. He also brilliantly covers the attempts to save the Union before the slave states left. It was a time to strike a grand bargain, but the South knew they were in a position of weakness and they did not like that.  The only blemish is the awkward attempts to look at events from the South’s point of view.  They feel wedged into the chapters, and would have been better in their own chapters or section.

Reviewed By Kevin Winter

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