The book discusses honestly and frankly the real reasons for the Civil War, the way in which it was fought, and the major differences between the two sides. One of these was the strong views over the meaning and obligations of Constitutional government. The South held the traditional position of limited government and strict adherence to the protections of the Constitution, especially States Rights. The North favored a strong, centralized government and material and social programs unfettered by Constitutional limits. These issues are still very much alive.