England

England

England

England

Excerpt

I have found the preparation of this book the most difficult literary task that I have ever undertaken. The difficulties are indeed so obvious that perhaps I may ask for some indulgence if I fail to satisfy my readers, as I have certainly not satisfied myself. The plan of this series is not strictly historical. It is the present and the future--"the modern world," including the present day which will be yesterday before the book is published, and the to-morrow which will then be to-day, with which the writers have to try to deal. The excellent books which have appeared in this series about other countries have been packed with information which is inaccessible to the ordinary reader. In the volume upon Russia, for example, the curtain has been partially lifted which veils the most terrible tragedy in modern history. In his "Germany" Mr. Gooch marshals with the severest impartiality the evidence on highly controversial questions concerning the policy and conduct of our chief adversary in the Great War. Norway is a kindred country of which most of us know little and are glad to know more. The problems of the British Raj in India can be understood only with the help of such intimate knowledge as Sir Valentine Chirol possesses. But a heavily documented treatise of this size about our own country would be nothing more than a dull hand-book. There is no subject bearing on the condition of England at the present day, on which there is not a mass of well-informed and well-known literature. I might, it is true, have confined myself to one topic, such as politics or social life, and treated this in more detail, but that would have made the title of the book inappropriate and deceptive. Besides if I am to attempt a judgment on the condition and prospects of the country now and in . . .

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