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Democratic Ideals and Reality A Study in the Politics of Reconstruction


THERE is no lack of ideas in this book. From beginning to end it is full of striking conceptions which arrest attention even if some of them fail to meet with acceptance. Mr. Mackinder has exercised to the full his ability to see the broad issues of history in terms of geographical influences, and he has produced a fresh and stimulating commentary on the world politics of to-day. Seeking fundamental generalisations, he sees a world-island comprising Europe, Asia, and Africa, and a heartland covering all continental as opposed to coastal Asia and European Russia. As the world-island is the base of sea power, so the heartland is the home of land power. In the antagonism between the two—that is, between German and Slav—Mr. Mackinder sees one of the fundamental causes of the war. There was no immediate quarrel, he contends, between East Europe and West Europe. Germany's object was to gain control of the heartland, and if she had thrown her main strength against Russia and stood on the defensive towards France, this aim, he thinks, might have been achieved before the peoples of the West realised its strategical danger.

Democratic Ideals and Reality. A Study in the Politics of Reconstruction.

By H. J. Mackinder. Pp. 272. (London: Constable and Co., Ltd., 1919.) Price 7s. 6d. net.

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Democratic Ideals and Reality A Study in the Politics of Reconstruction . Nature 103, 423–424 (1919).

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