This book covers political happennings for about a year before the first shots at Fort Sumter, and goes through the first major battle at Bull Run. It provides a good idea of the things that lead to the war, and how the governments of the nation and the states let themselves drift down the road to war, until it was too late to avoid the clash that took four years.
It also tells of the beginning moves of the war. The moves of the federal government to keep Kentucky, Missouri and Maryland in the union, were pivotal in determining the outcome of the war. It is interesting how the constitution, which the federals were fighting to protect, was ignored at times in efforts to keep the union together.
The book includes a graph of the comparative populations and industry of the North and South. The South could only hope for a quick war, as the federal resources would soon wear them down.
I would recommend this book to those interested in this history. I am going to read the other two books over the next couple years.