Great Britain and the United States: A History of Anglo-American Relations, 1783-1952

Great Britain and the United States: A History of Anglo-American Relations, 1783-1952

Great Britain and the United States: A History of Anglo-American Relations, 1783-1952

Great Britain and the United States: A History of Anglo-American Relations, 1783-1952

Excerpt

I have not written this book purely as an academic study: I have written it because I believe in the necessity for cordial Anglo- American relations. That belief arises not only from a study of their history but also from a warm affection for the American people. Here, plainly, is a bias against which the reader should be warned, although he will doubtless become aware of it soon enough in any case. My object has been to tell the story of the Anglo-American relationship in the past in order that we may the better guide its course in the future.

I began serious work on the project in January, 1949, and I completed my first draft in December, 1952. I handed the final manuscript to my publishers in July, 1953. There are always risks in the writing of contemporary history: nevertheless, I decided that the political narrative should come forward to the end of 1952, which was, with the end of twenty years of Democratic rule, an obvious terminus ad quem. I resolved, however, that in the interval before publication I would not make any alterations of substance in the final chapter, and I have not done so. Furthermore, I have refrained from bringing the social and cultural analysis more up to date than the inter-war years, because it is not a satisfactory subject for contemporary treatment.

I have tried to write this history, despite its length, in such a way as to interest the general reader. It is not a work of original research based upon primary sources, for there is no need of such a book; excellent studies of many aspects of the subject are already in existence. My debt to the authors of these is correspondingly great. It is not possible to mention them all here, but I hope that a full recognition of my deep obligations to them is made in the footnotes and in the bibliography.

I would call the attention of the reader to the fact that, throughout the text, numerical footnotes are exclusively used for source references, so that the eye need not be distracted by them; explanatory footnotes, which have been reduced to a minimum, are indicated by some other symbol, such as the asterisk. For the most part I have used the orthodox typographical conventions, such as three dots for omissions, but I should mention that I have not used dots at the end or beginning of quotations, except for purposes of emphasis; omissions are there . . .

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