At the outset we are told to expect “an eclectic mix” of essays on what created discord in America in the Civil War era, with the only consistent theme being the “pervasiveness” of white supremacist thinking throughout the country and throughout the prewar, war, and postwar periods. Eclecticism there is in abundance. So many different essays of variable quality allow only brief comments here on salient issues, but much of value can be derived concerning the proper use of sources to prove assertions, as well as the importance and power of remembrance of things past.

The first section is supposedly designed “to flesh out the ways in which white supremacy was woven into the political fabric of the North” (2–3). In pursuit of that theme, Megan L. Bever views temperance reformers' lukewarm support for abolition as proof that they considered the antislavery crusade a “distraction” (8). However, she also admits...

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