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About as important a book, written by a Southerner, before the US CIvil War, as you can find.
Helper, of course, detested blacks, and that's an understatement. Because he loathed the sight, smell, sound, and even the idea of blacks in the Americas, he was against slavery.
Few people today realize Southern states made it a crime to speak, write, or preach against slavery, for any reason. Therefore, you could be arrested and tortured for owing Impending Crisis, as a North Carolina preacher found out. Others were arrested too -- even though they hated blacks, and that was their motivation to be against slavery, they were arrested. Cassius Clay was arrested, and while not tortured, he was escorted out of the South.
Read his book, it's amazing. No one tells us these things -- he does. How the South was poor, uneducated, and lazy -- how there was one basic means of getting rich in the South, slavery or profiting off it somehow. Whites, he claimed, would not work, or could not find work, because so much was done by slaves. There was no middle class to speak of, there was no art, no worthwhile education, no manufacturing, because of slavery. There was violence and oppression, even of whites, to further slavery. The South was kind of a hell hole with the lunatics in charge, covered by religion (that's not Hitlon's explanation, that's mine).
This book should be read by any student of history.