A really great story here, told before, but possibly not quite so engagingly. It can be difficult to stay balanced in perspective when dealing with an unreconstructed Southern slave owner who fought tooth and nail in the U.S. Congress to preserve the South’s “peculiar” institution. Robert Toombs may not have been justified in this pursuit from the long view, but Scroggins helps us understand the complexities of antebellum politics and the extremism on both sides of the slavery issue and states’ rights vs. the power of the federal government. And through such a character as this! Toombs was legendary for his oratorical skills, which the author illustrates to excellent effect while also providing us with a peek inside his devotion to family and friends. Toombs’ life as a lawyer and plantation owner, as well as his political career in the House, Senate, and Confederate government provide an excellent perspective on the issues and political actors of the day. Scroggins’ book is set to be published soon by McFarland Press. Update: You can now find the published book here.