Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union makes the crucial 1861 Virginia State Convention accessible to teachers, students and general readers. The official record of the convention stretches to nearly 3,000 pages. In Showdown in Virginia, historians William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson have expertly edited that daunting record down to 200 pages that capture the most important parts of the convention. The book also provides an introduction, commentary, chronology, headnotes and suggestions for further reading.

Showdown in Virginia is available on or through the University of Virginia Press.

Freehling is a Senior Fellow with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and author of Prelude to Civil War, The Road to Disunion, Volumes 1 and 2, and The South vs. The South. Simpson is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario and author of A Good Southerner: The Life of Henry A. Wise of Virginia. Freehling and Simpson co-edited Secession Debated: Georgia’s Showdown in 1860.

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