No man (except perhaps Joseph Stalin") knew whether war was near. Wars had been touched off by pretty eyes (1200 B.C.), by a garbled telegram (1870), and even by Jenkins' ear (1739). But most wars, including the Trojan, the Franco-Prussian, and that of Jenkins' ear, are caused not by incidents but by somebody's belief that he can get something by war that he cannot get any other way.

By that test, the Berlin crisis had not brought war any nearer, in spite of the the heart-in-mouth atmosphere which prevailed at week's end in Washington, Paris, London and Berlin. The Russians...

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