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Children's LiteratureAlthough the American Civil War broke out in April 1861, its origins can be traced much further into the nation's past. Sectional differences, economic development, cultural divides, and splits over the "Peculiar Institution," or slavery, all contributed to a conflict that reshaped the nation and claimed over 620,000 lives. Anderson's The Causes of the Civil War explains the reasons why a great nation ripped itself apart and fought a war of great ferocity. This volume of the "World Almanac Library of the Civil War" combines solid historical research, primary source quotations, and numerous illustrations. Dale Anderson provides a carefully written and information packed narrative. As the author of this sound book relates, in 1861, when secession occurred, Americans across the land shared far more of a heritage than even they realized. Yet, despite their many commonalties, Northerners and Southerners surged ahead with an internecine war that was bloody indeed. Out of the ashes of that war came both enormous suffering and the beginning of modern America. In this introductory work, Anderson does justice to a complex subject and thereby offers readers a good starting point for their study of this fiery chapter in American history. 2004, World Almanac Library, Ages 10 up.
—Greg M. Romaneck