After All: The Autobiography of Norman Angell

After All: The Autobiography of Norman Angell

After All: The Autobiography of Norman Angell

After All: The Autobiography of Norman Angell

Excerpt

Part of the background of this story is a frontier America that has now vanished; an America as seen by an English youngster of seventeen who left a Continental university to become a boy emigrant because he thought Europe was strangling itself in insoluble problems. He hoped to find in the New World a society freed from the social and political curses of the old.

What follows is here told. Though life as American farm hand, cowboy, prospector, homesteader, and later as reporter, taught me that the New World too has baffling problems, differing in form but having much the same roots as those of the Old World, it was in no mood of bitter disillusion concerning America that I returned to Europe at the end of the last century. I had, however, come very early to the conviction--a conviction confirmed by the years--that the freedom which as a boy I sought so hopefully in the United States cannot be achieved by this country in disregard of the Old World and its problems, any more than it can be achieved by Europe or Asia in disregard of the United States.

As a result, the work I have tried to do this sixty years or so in journalism and pamphleteering, in British politics, in Parliament, in international affairs, in educational experiments, has been as much concerned with the United States as with Europe. Indeed, much of that work has been done in America, where twenty years of my life have been passed; a similar period having been passed in France, and a somewhat longer period in Britain.

The years in America have been distributed over three generations (I have had as student in the middle of the twentieth century the grandson of a man I worked with out West in the last decade of the nineteenth) and among social surroundings as various as those of the ranch bunk-house and the American university faculty; the dire penury of the nineteenth-century . . .

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