Through Thirty Years, 1892-1922: A Personal Narrative - Vol. 1

Through Thirty Years, 1892-1922: A Personal Narrative - Vol. 1

Through Thirty Years, 1892-1922: A Personal Narrative - Vol. 1

Through Thirty Years, 1892-1922: A Personal Narrative - Vol. 1

Excerpt

This book is a story of international public life in the past thirty years. Its form is that of a personal narrative; yet it is not solely, or even chiefly, autobiographical. Its justification is that, as far as I am aware, no other writer or journalist enjoyed during that period quite the same opportunities as those which good fortune gave me to observe men and things in and beyond Europe. Future historians may more readily gain a comprehensive view of the events that led up to the Great War, and of the war itself, if those who saw something of its antecedents record their own observations and experience before their memories grow dim. Believing, as I believe, that the cataclysm of 1914 was a turning point in the history of the civilized world but not, in itself, the beginning or the end of an epoch, I have thought it right to show in perspective some of the tendencies of which the war was a climax and some of the forces which continue to fashion the life of nations.

In the summer of 1892 I set out on a modest voyage of discovery. I wished to write on social and political questions and, to that end, to find a standard of judgment. Of my quest and of the adventures, intellectual and political, into which it led me, this book contains only what seems to me of more than individual interest. In a sense, it is mainly an account of some twenty-seven years' continuous service of The Times. To the influence and prestige of that great journal, any value the story may possess is, therefore, principally due. Its columns contain many of the raw materials of history; but . . .

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