This book is an introduction to the theory and practice of international relations. Like all texts, it is incomplete and cannot take the place of the live teacher, who will make use of it in accordance with his own sense of fitness. It is the authors' hope that the arrangement of the materials assembled in this book is elastic enough to leave teacher and student sufficient scope to exercise discretion as well as imagination.
Since international relations are human relations and, therefore, enmeshed in an infinite variety of social activities, their essence is change. Again and again, the best-laid plans and the most carefully formulated and reasonable policies are foiled by the unexpected and the absurd. In view of the volatile properties of the subject matter, the authors do not pretend to know which are the "lasting" documents of international affairs. The only documents reproduced in this volume, unabridged or in part, are those which bear upon the topical discussion. The Covenant of the League of Nations, the Charter of the United Nations, the North Atlantic Pact, and lesser compacts presumed to be of contemporary significance are easily accessible in numerous places. The tide in international affairs these documents recorded, the order they sanctioned, and the hopes they kindled or disappointed are the very stuff of which international politics are made. But in order to get at the substance, it is hardly necessary to learn "documents" paragraph by paragraph, article by article, just as it is unnecessary to memorize municipal ordinances in order to understand the problems of a city government.
The planning of this text -- a thoroughly recast and rewritten edition of the book published in 1950 -- against the limitations of space and the ravages of time posed various problems of scholarly apparatus. In the making of the bibliographies the authors stuck to the sources which fed the individual chapters. They are aware of the gaps which open on every page of this book. These can be filled only by impressment of auxiliaries such as globes, maps, atlases, current publications, and "fugitive materials." Since international relations are still confined to this earth, their study presupposes at least an elementary knowledge of geographical relationships. Hence the importance of globes and maps. Since international relations are never made but always in the making, their study presupposes familiarity with current issues. Hence the importance of periodicals, pamphlets, and reports by competent news-