Numerous friends and acquaintances have made this work a pleasurable experience. As has been the case several times, my friend and colleague Forrest McDonald read the manuscript first, offering many useful suggestions along with continuous encouragement throughout the course of this project. Lawrence F. Kohl gave the work a careful reading, sharply disagreeing with many of my conclusions and forcing me to rethink or bring more focus to my arguments. Longtime friend and candid critic Pete Maslowski again brought his skeptical eye to the manuscript, challenging me to reassess my ideas and clarify their expression. Constitutional specialist Maurice G. Baxter once more guided me through the legal labyrinth, making sure that my arguments were crisp and accurate. Robert E. May brought his deep knowledge of Southern history to the manuscript, giving it an intensive reading and making numerous recommendations for improvement while extending the warmest encouragement that can come only from a friend. Tony A. Freyer discussed many aspects of the work as it progressed, sharing his extensive knowledge of constitutional law and exhorting me always to place the story within the grand perspective of history.
Frank J. Merli, fellow wanderer in the maze of events that constitutes the diplomacy of the Civil War, joins me in believing that the international dimension of this period in history has not received its proper emphasis. For his encouraging and penetrating counsel, his willingness to share his broad and thorough knowledge of the sources, and his eagerness to give my manuscript a far more careful reading than anyone could expect, I express my sincere appreciation along with a fond hope that the final product meets the standards for scholarship set for both of us some years ago by our mentor and friend Robert H. Ferrell.
A special thanks goes to Kenneth Bourne of the London School of Economics and Political Science, who honored a commitment made over dinner in Tuscaloosa--to read my manuscript once completed. Thus the work received a careful assessment not only from the British perspective but from a renowned scholar of Anglo-American relations and the chief biographer of Lord