America in Britain's Place: The Leadership of the West and Anglo-American Unity

America in Britain's Place: The Leadership of the West and Anglo-American Unity

America in Britain's Place: The Leadership of the West and Anglo-American Unity

America in Britain's Place: The Leadership of the West and Anglo-American Unity

Excerpt

This is a book about the leadership of the West. But it is also an analysis of Anglo-American unity. There has been a changing of the guard; Britain remains, nevertheless, the chief ally of the United States. And it is in terms of Anglo-American interaction that this work attempts to set American leadership in perspective.

A word about its general approach may be added. New York was the vantage point from which, after World War II, the writer watched the United States pick up the reins of leadership. But he lived in England from 1930 to 1938 and it was thus at firsthand that he saw how prewar Britain let those reins slip through her fingers.

Against the effect of a Nazi-Soviet pact, the writer warned in print before the fall of Austria. Between the wars, for all who cherished freedom and cared for the defense of Western society, the one element of promise was Anglo-American friendship. The writer's account of its formative years, a plea that it be brought into play at once, was published in London on the day of Munich.

World politics were conceived, however, as a contest for power and, on this side of the Atlantic that was not a popular view. In a best-seller, a year and a half after Pearl Harbor, Lin Yutang could still denounce the prospect of peace by power. It took time, among American officials and American students of international affairs, for a school of political realists to develop.

"Strength without justice is tyranny," said Pascal, "and justice without strength a mockery." The ordeal of civilization may not be the same in the 1960's and the 1970's as it was in the 1930's and the 1940's. Yet great issues do not vanish; they merely reappear in fresh guise. To show where and how they do so is the task of historians. But, such is the tempo of the age, we cannot await their findings. We must anticipate its lessons, if history is not to betray us.

No book about American leadership can restrict itself to narrow confines. For much in the future of humanity depends . . .

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