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OF THE UNITED STATES
FREDERIC L. PAXSON
Author, The New Nation
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
Che Riverside Press Cambridge
THE period covered in this narrative falls between two eras. It is preceded by the age of national growth across the continent, in which one frontier after another was absorbed by society. It seems likely to be followed by an era of American permeation of the world. The Civil War and Reconstruction furnished much of its spiritual background, but belonged to the period that was gone. The World War was the natural outgrowth of the rivalries of the age itself. Separated from the past by one period of reconstruction, and from the future by another, the years 1877 to 1921 have a distinct unity as the period in which the new nation of the Western Hemisphere found itself and realized its powers. The years are substantially the age of Roosevelt, although they overlap a little at either end of the public life of that statesman. More than any other American, he seems to have personified his generation, and although others may have thought more deeply, or contributed more permanently to the advancement of American ideals, his virtues and defects are those that illustrate best the American character at the meeting of the centuries.
I owe much of what is good in this book to the careful criticism of my wife, and the patient forbearance of my secretary, Miss Caroline W. Munro. To the generosity of my commanding officer in the World War, Colonel Charles W. Weeks, G.S., I owe my opportunity to see in action much of the vast machine with which the United States realized its determination to maintain its ideal of democracy.
FREDERIC L. PAXSON Madison, Wisconsin