THE word diplomacy can be a will-o'-the-wisp and may mislead those who would study the work of diplomats. The word in common usage may connote nothing more than tact or savoir faire, with perhaps an implication of guile. Often it is applied with imprecision to the relations of governments of states. It should not be used as a synonym for foreign policy, which gives direction and purpose to intercourse among governments. Nor should it be identified with international law, which supplies a common understanding of rights and precedents. Properly, according to The Oxford English Dictionary, diplomacy is "the management of international relations by negotiations."
The present work has to do with the performance of those Americans who took part in the essential task of negotiating peace treaties that would bring World War I to an end. My study was undertaken in response to a suggestion made twenty-five years ago by Charles Seymour, who was himself an American delegate at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and the author of American Diplomacy during the World War. He was most generous of advice, as was Frank Lord Warrin, who was the personal assistant to David Hunter Miller, the legal counselor of Wilson. These men and many others have contributed much during the years of waiting for the opening of the last of the essential documentary sources in the United States and abroad. Most fortunately, the quarter century of my research has been a period during which many of the eyewitnesses have still been alive to testify, and also a time when the last of the essential files of state and personal documents have been opened.
Several years after the release of the official American and British minutes of the sessions of the inner councils of the Paris conference, two volumes were published that made available the notes of Paul Mantoux, Clemenceau's translator, who faithfully recorded in French the words of the conferees as they were spoken in the meetings of the Supreme Council. For access to these and other important notes of Professor Mantoux, I am deeply indebted to Mme. Mathilde Mantoux, whose encouragement and assistance have been constant and indispensable. I have been aided also at Paris by Professors Pierre Renouvin, Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, and André Kaspi.
Cary T. Grayson Jr., Ambassador Philip Bonsal, and Professor Agnes Headlam‐ Morley of Oxford have generously facilitated the use of the intimate records of their fathers. Katherine E. Brand, who years ago reviewed my notes from the Wilson Collection at the Library of Congress, has remained a faithful counselor. Colonel James B. Rothnie has transcribed notes written in shorthand by Wilson. Professor Arthur S. Link and David W. Hirst have been most accommodating in sharing the