From the earliest days of the republic, American international legal scholars have produced a rich and comparably varied corpus of scholarship. Much of it has provoked significant innovations in international politics and all of it provides insights into American conceptions of international law and, for better or worse, the distinctive role many of the scholars believed the United States plays – or should play – in the international legal system. The American Classics in International Law series is intended to explore that literature. The series will present a number of thematic volumes of classic American articles on international law which are reproduced and discussed by eminent scholars in their respective fields.
W. Michael Reisman is the McDougal Professor of International Law at the Yale Law School and also Honorary Professor in the City University of Hong Kong. He is a member of the Institut de droit international, of the Board of Directors of the Foreign Policy Association and of the Advisory Committee on International Law of the US Department of State. He served formerly as President of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law.