On the Rim of the Abyss

On the Rim of the Abyss

On the Rim of the Abyss

On the Rim of the Abyss

Excerpt

At a turn in the road we look back at the receding perspectives of the "post-war era." New interests, new problems, and new dangers lie ahead; a new generation is urging toward action, impatient with the present and critical of the past. For most of them the "post-war era" is now a synonym of disillusionment; its high promise of a better, safer world has not been made good. Instead, they find growing impoverishment in the midst of plenty, and peace that is like the hush before the hurricane. The institutions in which were enshrined the hopes of those who escaped the years of slaughter have failed to hold back the hand of governments that flout both Pact and Covenant. As the committee rooms at Geneva grow quieter, the armament furnaces flare higher in the Ruhr, the Midlands, Central France, and Pennsylvania. Danger apparently lurks ahead. Under such circumstances why pause to look back? Why study the path we have gone when we have no reason to retrace it?

Such will be the first reaction--and not only the first-- to the suggestion that before setting out on the new stretch of the road that leads we know not where, we pause a moment to get our bearings and take stock of our experiences. But for those who are neither too impatient to learn from past mistakes nor too prejudiced to profit from a study of past successes, this book is written, not as a history of the era we are so rapidly leaving behind, but as a commentary on that history, having in mind the peculiar problems of the United States in a world that is taking new forms, moved by new and challenging forces.

The pages which follow were given their final form during . . .

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