In this examination of Union and Confederate foreign relations
during the Civil War from both European and American perspectives,
Howard Jones demonstrates that the consequences of the conflict
between North and South reached far beyond American soil.
Jones explores a number of themes, including the international
economic and political dimensions of the war, the North's attempts
to block the South from winning foreign recognition as a nation,
Napoleon III's meddling in the war and his attempt to restore
French power in the New World, and the inability of Europeans to
understand the interrelated nature of slavery and union, resulting
in their tendency to interpret the war as a senseless struggle
between a South too large and populous to have its independence
denied and a North too obstinate to give up on the preservation of
the Union. Most of all, Jones explores the horrible nature of a war
that attracted outside involvement as much as it repelled it.
Written in a narrative style that relates the story as its
participants saw it play out around them, Blue and Gray
depicts the complex set of problems faced by policy
makers from Richmond and Washington to London, Paris, and St.