Foreign Affairs and its parent organization, the Council on Foreign Relations, were founded in the early 1920s by
veterans of the Woodrow Wilson administration’s diplomatic and military efforts. Shocked by the country’s turn to
isolationism in the wake of the Great War, they followed with increasing dread the world’s march toward yet another
conflict during the 1930s. The pages of the magazine tracked the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, the growing conquests of imperial Japan, the stirrings of military preparedness in Washington, and ultimately the most devastating conflagration the globe has ever seen. Seventy-five years after the United States entered that war,
we offer this collection to showcase all that remarkable coverage, giving today’s readers a taste of how things looked
to knowledgeable observers watching events in real time. As I combed through our archives, I was struck by just how well informed close readers of the magazine would have been about what was going on, why, and what needed to be done about it.