Charles Dew's Apostles of Disunion has established itself as a modern classic and an indispensable account of the Southern states' secession from the Union. Addressing topics still hotly debated among historians and the public at large more than a century and a half after the Civil War, the book offers a compelling and clearly substantiated argument that slavery and race were at the heart of our great national crisis. The fifteen years since the original publication of Apostles of Disunion have seen an intensification of debates surrounding the Confederate flag and Civil War monuments. In a powerful new afterword to this anniversary edition, Dew situates the book in relation to these recent controversies and factors in the role of vast financial interests tied to the internal slave trade in pushing Virginia and other upper South states toward secession and war.
Charles B. Dew is Ephraim Williams Professor of American History at Williams College and the author of The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade (Virginia) and Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge, selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.