Stephen B. Oates tells the story of the coming of the American Civil War through the voices, and from the viewpoints, of 13 principal players in the drama, including Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Nat Turner, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass. This unique approach shows the crucial role that perception of events played in the sectional hostilities that bore the United States irreversibly into civil war.
In writing the monologues, Oates draws on the actual words of Ills speakers and simulates how they would describe the crucial events in which they were the principal actors or witnesses. All the events and themes in the monologues adhere to historical record.
The result is an exciting history that brings the personalities and events of the coming of the American Civil War vividly to life.