THIS book is not entirely a product of the Great War. The Anglo-German problem first came under my notice some years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Oxford. A beneficiary of the Rhodes Trust, I was imbued with the idea of Anglo-Saxon solidarity, to promote which Cecil Rhodes founded the scholarships which bear his name. But, instead of harmony, I found discord. Some of my Oxford friends were members of the British Navy League, and from them I learned that the German navy was regarded as a menace to England's traditional supremacy of the seas. When I travelled in Germany I encountered considerable animosity to England in several places, and I saw little banks, in the shape of war-ships, which tempted patriotic Germans to make contributions for the propaganda of the German Navy League. At every turn one was made conscious of this rivalry between two kindred nations, each of which professed to fear the aggressive intentions of the other. The most contradictory statements were heard, and the stranger was at a loss to comprehend them.
In time, as I studied the problem, I collected a quantity of material from different sources and of varying value: this book is the result. I have used very sparingly the voluminous literature which has appeared since the war began, except, of course, the official documents published by the belligerent governments. Nearly all of the evidence upon which my conclusions are based was in my hands before August, 1914; indeed, the first six chapters, and the eighth, were practically written by that date, although