The title, A Short History, may strike a modern mind as ironic. Compare it, however, to the previous work by the same author, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government—one thousand four hundred and forty-nine pages of text—and the irony disappears. As the first and only President of the short-lived Confederacy, Jefferson Davis was in a position to view the whole of its story as no one else could. Since the entirety of his reign as President occurred during wartime, most of his writing are dedicated to military events. His previous education at West Point, his years of service in the United States Army, and his experience as head of the War Department combined to prepare him for the role as wartime President.