Old antique collectable hardback book, circa 1920. In fine condition for its age. Yellowing of pages, some marks and discolouring of spine.
Peoples and nations are words that have been much on tongue and pen in recent years. Since the outbreak of the Great War national spirit has been more active in the minds of men than at any other time in history. By its very existence the League Of Nations recognizes the ineluctable fact of nationalism, though an eminent statesman, indescribing the spirit of nationalism as "the curse of Europe" looks to the League somehow to abolish that spirit, and one of our seers, among his after-war visions, has seen a "world state," in which, presumably, national distinctions are blurred and all humanity exists in some strange neutral tint.
A proper knowledge of the races of mankind that are sharing with us in the life of the globe today is essential to anyone who would lay claim to be decently educated. It scarcely needed the Great War to make intelligent persons understand how the complex machinery of modern civilization has brought peoples of very distant areas of the earth into a relationship, the closeness of which is often realized only when some temporary breakdown in that machinery occurs. The war at least made plain to the most unobservant that no nation can live unto itself alone, and in that degree it stimulated the sort of study which this work seeks to advance.
It was determined that the task of presenting and entirely new picture of the post-war world inits living actuality should be attempted, and , after due consideration, the national unit was found to offer the most practical method of treatment. By arranging the nations of the world in their alphabetical order, rather than following any geographical sequence, a pleasing variety of subject resulted. Merely to describe the peoples of all nations in their habits as they live, and to illustrate them profusely, did not seem adequate to the purpose in hand; hence the historical chapters, in which every nation's story is briefly retold by skilled historians.