So many changes have occurred in the fifteen years since this book was originally published that revision is necessary; and the end of the League of Nations and the beginning of the United Nations furnish an historical point in the evolution of international government at which revision can properly be undertaken.
The reader will better understand the selection of the materials included in this book if he will bear in mind that I am not concerned with international relations in general, but with the slowly evolving constitutional law and organization of the community of nations, developing toward international, or world, government. Furthermore, I would not argue with anyone who disputes the title of the book; it would be a dispute as to the definition of government.
I have taught this course since I first proposed it at the Second Conference of Teachers of International Law and Related Subjects in 1925, and I am convinced that the purposes for which it was designed are still justifiable, and even more so today than then. These purposes I summarize, from the Preface to the original edition, in the paragraphs below.
For the large university, which can offer several courses in the international field, this book furnishes the preliminary training for advanced courses in International Law and International Organization, or serves as the single course in the field which many students desire to take for general information.
For the smaller college, which can offer but one course, it does not go too far toward technical international law, or wander too far into the very broad field of international relations--economic, political, psychological, diplomatic, et cetera. It may be used for a one term course or for a full year course.
For the general reader, increasingly concerned with the United Nations and the search for international peace and security, the book offers a rounded survey of the forces and developments in which he is interested. Though the book is well documented, in order to enable the student to pursue his investigation of particular points, I have tried to achieve a presentation not too technical for the interested reader to follow. I should be happy if it found readers outside the classrooms, and I think that it might be useful to speakers and discussion leaders.