THE NATION: Ignorance & Error

Twenty-five years ago, in the magazine Foreign Affairs (see PRESS), the late Elihu Root, Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of State, looked behind and ahead and made some observations on history. "There is a general conviction," he wrote, "that there has been something wrong about the conduct of diplomacy under which peoples have so often found themselves embarked in war without intending it."

Misrepresentation, thought Elihu Root, was at the bottom of such accidents—misrepresentation, and "ignorance and error [making] wild work with foreign relations. . . . Given the nature of man, war results from the spiritual condition that follows real or...

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