Leonard Woolf, the League of Nations, and the Inverse of Imperialism, 1928–1933
This chapter discusses the work undertaken by Leonard Woolf, with the notable assistance of his wife and several associates, on various projects for the Fabian Society, the League of Nations Society, and the Labour Party Research Department. During the First World War, by his own account, Woolf “worked with others to ensure that the creation of a League of Nations should be part of the peace settlement.” After writing International Government (1916) and Empire and Commerce in Africa (1920), as well as taking turns at editing War and Peace, The International Review, and The Nation and The Athenaeum through the 1920s, Woolf returned to the subject of the League when he stepped down as literary editor of the latter and co-founded The Political Quarterly. In 1928 he published Imperialism and Civilization where he argued that in the League of Nations the solution of international problems depended on a “synthesis of civilizations,” by which he meant a “stable and smooth adjustment of the political and economic relations of peoples, nations, States, and governments from Peking to Peru”.
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