In This Review

Histoire De La Nation Française. Volume IX: Histoire Diplomatique, 1515-1928
Histoire De La Nation Française. Volume IX: Histoire Diplomatique, 1515-1928
Edited by Gabriel Hanotaux. By René Pinon
Plon, 1929, pp

This is a well-known series, edited by a former French foreign minister who enjoys an international reputation as an historian. The author of this particular volume is a professor at the École des Sciences Politiques and has been known for years as one of the foremost French political writers. These facts are worth noting, for the volume in question can hardly be described as anything but an uncritical and thoroughly nationalist presentation of the history of French foreign policy. It lacks the scholarly apparatus of footnotes, but it is perfectly clear that little attention has been paid to materials and writings in languages other than French, and it is equally obvious that no great effort has been made to see the other side of the question. The doctrine of the natural frontiers is blandly presented in undiluted form and French security is regarded as the question of supreme European importance, reminding one of the old saying: "When France has a cold, Europe sneezes." It need hardly be said that France's traditional enemy, Germany, comes off badly in a book which pictures the wars of Louis XIV as defensive. England does not fare much better; her insidious intrigues on the continent repeatedly interfered with the French plans. In short, the book, with its uncompromising viewpoint, will not help much in furthering the cause of international understanding.