December 2022

A Century of Foreign Affairs

America and the World, 1922–2022
15 Articles
15 Articles
Table of Contents
Introduction

For centuries, the conduct of international relations “was left to the foreign offices of the world,” former U.S. Secretary of State Elihu Root wrote in the first issue of Foreign Affairs in September 1922. But such a narrow conversation, Root argued, was no longer acceptable. In democracies especially, citizens needed much greater “knowledge of the fundamental and essential facts and principles upon which the relations of nations depend.” 

In the 100 years since Root issued his appeal, Foreign Affairs has remained committed to the basic goal of meeting that need. Some of the most important examples of that work are featured in the pages that follow—writing that has illuminated history’s most pressing challenges, offered both trenchant critiques and new ways of thinking, and shaped and reshaped foreign policy and international relations.

One volume cannot capture the full story of the United States’ global engagement over the past century, and our archives contain scores of essays worth revisiting that we could not include here. But we hope this collection provides you with fresh insight into the ideas that built the world of today, many of which remain just as relevant as they were when they first appeared in Foreign Affairs.

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