Books: Touched with Fire

THE BLUE AND THE GRAY (2 vols., 1,201 pp.) — Edited by Henry Steele Commager—Bobbs-Merrill ($12).

When they were unraveling the old myths and weaving their own, the men to whom all cats and causes are grey worked out a version of the American Civil War. Regional economic rivalry, they said, had been heated up by New England abolitionists and dream-wrapped Southern devotees of Sir Walter Scott; the unnecessary struggle that resulted eventually ended, as it had to do, with victory for the side with the most iron foundries; it was rather a...