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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
In this second edition, the subject-matter has been left intact, save for the correction of a few typographical errors and omissions. In the months succeeding the publication of the first edition, some interesting material bearing upon the causes of the war has come to light, but this material was not available to the public or to the responsible statesmen of the respective belligerent and neutral governments during the early weeks of the war, when it was necessary to form some opinion as a basis for the direction of governmental action. Not the exact facts as later revealed, but the situation as it appeared at the time, is the necessary basis for an appreciation of governmental action. Hence it is that practical politics require that the wisdom of the course pursued be judged by the material available at the moment it was necessary to make the decision. It is the author's belief that the volume as it originally appeared and without modification will better serve this purpose than any confusing interpolation of information acquired from sources subsequently accessible.
In the course of time, as new evidence is discovered, it will be interesting for the historian to prepare a scientific "post-mortem” of: the diplomatic situation just prior to the outbreak; biừt the student püst remember that, although such a studiy will have its importance to indicate the organic defects it our methods of conducting international relations, it will never afford the rational ground upon which to base a critical consideration of the action of the nations in that supreme moment of crisis.
NOV 10 1912
NEW YORK, July 28, 1916.
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
CIRCULATION DEPARTM3NT 125th STREET BRANCH.
224 EAST 125th ST.
(From The Nation (New York), July 15, 1915)
DR. CONYBEARE EXPLAINS To the Editor of the Nation :
Sir: If you will extend me once again the hospitality of your columns, I would like to protest against the use made by a journal, called the Vital Issue, of a letter written by me on March 5 to a friend in America. When I had dropped that letter into the nearest pillar box, it passed out of my control; but I promptly reflected that I had written very intemperately of Sir E, Grey - worst of all, I had signified to my correspondent that he might, if he chose, publish a letter which, had I kept it over for revision funtil the next morning, I should have expurgated of all vituperative expressions and of overhasty imputation of bad motives, and probably never have dispatched at all. No course was left open to me but to write afresh to my correspondent and enjoin on him not to publish it. This I did, and I signified as a chief reason for his suppressing it that I intended later on to publish in a journal of my own choosing a more adequate study of the matters discussed in it. He acknowledged on March 29 the receipt of this second letter and assured me he would respect my wishes. Nevertheless, it was printed three weeks later in the Vital Issue, and has been exploited for more than it was prima facie worth.
Reconsidering the documentary evidence, I now form the opinion that Sir E. Grey was rather victim, than creator, of nihilist forces which he would have restrained, had he been able, last July, as he succeeded in restraining them during the Balkan Wars. Racial rivalries, however, had in 1914 waxed too strong to be composed, and no single statesman could avert the catastrophe. But there can be no doubt that the prime guilt lies with the Power which first abandoned the defensive for the offensive, and that was Germany.
FRED. C. CONYBEARE. OXFORD, ENG., June 20.