THIS book is the, result of many years of observation and reflection, dating back to World War I. Its outline took shape within a few months of our return to this country, early in 1947, after an absence of eight years, but it was actually written under the impact of the events of 1952, when the election of a new President seemed to make it inevitable that the United Nations Organization and the policy of the United States government toward it would be brought under fresh review.
If some readers may be inclined to think that I have pitched my hopes for American democracy too high, I can only say that I have written out of the daily experience of life in two of those smaller towns which are the seedbeds of American public opinion and best exemplify the working of American institutions and the American way of life.
It was my original intention to conclude the book with a section on American education in its relation to the understanding of world affairs. This subject is closely bound up with the suggestions put forward in the later chapters for the exercise of American leadership in developing the full possibilities of the United Nations Charter. But I came to the conclusion that I could not include such a discussion in the present volume without adding unduly to its bulk and distracting attention from the thread of its main political argument. So these pages, as they stand, aim at being a contribution to political science and the book on education will follow.
To any of my British compatriots into whose hands this volume may fall I would like to say that, should it be published in the British Commonwealth, my wish would be to write an introductory section bringing the British position, as I see it today, into line with our tradition in the past and with recent social and constitutional developments.