In This Review
The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920-1946

The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920-1946

By F. S. Northedge

Holmes & Meier, 1986, 342 pp.

The late Professor Northedge has given us what may be a classic history of the achievements, and the failure, of the league. It is skillfully presented, solidly based on the documentary record, and balanced by a perspective that includes the pre-1914 anarchy and the post-1945 experience of the United Nations. Basically, the league failed not because it was abandoned by America (although that was no unimportant factor) or betrayed by "guilty men," but because the principle of universal collective security was not, and still is not, reconcilable with the realities of international relations.