New Light on British Foreign Policy

The study of diplomatic history reached maturity between the two World Wars. The summer of 1914 saw the 'battle of the coloured books', when the British published their 'Blue Book', the Germans their 'White Book' – each, of course, named from the colour of its cover – and the French, Austrians and Russians, their yellow, red and orange equivalents. They were all designed to prove to their own peoples and to the world that each country was the innocent victim of its enemy's aggression. It was obvious from the beginning that the publications were highly selective and edited, it not actually falsified. When the war ended, revolution had overtaken the governments of Germany, Austria and Russia. Archives were open to eyes by no means friendly to pre-war governments.

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