FOR some time there has existed a widespread consciousness of the need for the interpretation of the current political scene to the layman. The average reader is deluged continually with a quantity of facts, current history, and comment in the field that we loosely call politics. This material ranges widely from the local community to world affairs, and problems of considerable intricacy are hurled at him daily from the front pages, often in terms that are not entirely clear.
A possible aid to the solution of this problem is the compilation of a political dictionary which endeavors to explain to the ordinary reader terms which are new to him and which have not yet become part of his general vocabulary. Existing contributions of the kind are either encyclopedic, or limited in scope to some such field as American politics. This volume attempts in brief compass to cover broadly the whole realm of political terminology.
Such an attempt carries with it certain inherent difficulties. In the first place, the definition of the field of politics is itself broad enough to permit the inclusion of many terms not essentially political. In general, the effort herein has been to include only terms of political content or interest. For example, the field of law in general is omitted, but many terms in constitutional and international law have been included; the field of economics is, in general, excluded, but terms of public finance are, of course, to a large extent within the political realm. Similarly an effort has been made to avoid yielding to the great temptation to in-