This comprehensive study provides an illuminating survey of the intricate diplomatic maneuvers of the American Civil War, as the North, the South, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia all struggled to manage the consequences of the conflict. The United Kingdom and France were the European powers most intimately concerned with the war. Both had large textile industries dependent on Southern cotton and close commercial ties with the North. The United Kingdom also had substantial holdings in the Americas, and France sought the same. The Lincoln administration, whose initial military blunders led the United Kingdom to hedge its bets and recognize the Confederacy as a belligerent, frequently misunderstood British aims. Overall, however, the North's diplomacy was more realistic and consistent than any effort the South could manage. As Jones makes plain, the Confederacy's inability before and during the war to understand its international vulnerabilities played no small part in its defeat.