This book is the trade edition of Volume VII of A History of the South, a ten-volume series designed to present a thoroughly balanced history of all the complex aspects of the South's culture from 1607 to the present. Like its companion volumes, The Confederate States of America is written by an outstanding student of Southern history, E. Merton Coulter, who is also one of the editors of the series and the author of Volume VIII.
The drama of war has led most historians to deal with the years 1861 to 1865 in terms of campaigns and generals. In this volume, however, Mr. Coulter treats the war in its perspective as an aspect of the life of a people
.The attempt to build a nation strong enough to win independence naturally drew Southerners' attention to such problems as morale, money, bonds, taxes, diplomacy, manufacturing, transportation, communication, publishing, armaments, religion, labor, prices, profits, race problems, and political policy. Mr. Coulter balances these phases of the struggle in their relation to war itself, and the whole is dealt with as a period in the history of a people
.And finally, Mr. Coulter deals with the ever-recurring questions: Did secession necessarily mean war? Was the South from the very beginning engaged in a hopeless struggle? And, if not, why did it lose?