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This volume is designed to accompany the editor's Problems in American Democracy, and the choice and arrangement of the material have been influenced by the plan of that text.
In the preparation of this volume the effort has been to secure the advantages of a book of readings, and at the same time to avoid some of the drawbacks common to such compilations. In this connection the special features of the book may be referred to briefly:
The editor has attempted to strike a judicious compromise between too long and too short selections. It is intended that each selection shall prove sufficiently extended to convey a fair and adequate idea of the author's point of view; on the other hand, the pressure for space in the volume, and the desirability of suppressing material not bearing directly upon the point involved, have led to careful elimination, and, in some cases, to bracketed insertions. It need not be added that, in such cases, care has been taken not to distort the sense of the original.
Despite the wide range of many of the chapters, the editor has attempted to choose and to arrange the selections so that each chapter will constitute a logical and unified narrative It is hoped, further, that the volume has gained something of the continuity of a text from the fact that an editorial paragraph has been used, not only to introduce each selection, but to connect and to weave together the two selections between which it stands.
To avoid the unsightliness of type of varying sizes, the same size of type has been used for both editorial introductions and the selections. Care has been taken, however, to indicate precisely where each editorial introduction stops and the selected reading begins.
To help the student to understand the selections, and to facilitate reference, marginal notes have been employed throughout the book.
A number of questions on the readings is supplied at the end of each chapter. The volume is provided with an index.