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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
INCLINATION without some form of external pressure is insufficient to induce an author to publish a handbook, for though completeness is essential, the work is little attractive. Moreover, in such a subject as ethnology the author finds himself obliged to enter into matters requiring special study. He can no longer bring forward his own thoughts, but has only to repeat the dicta of the recognized authorities, and he never loses the oppressive sensation of gathering roses in the garden of another. It would never have occurred to the present author to reconstruct a doctrinal system of ethnology, had he not in the beginning of 1869 been requested by the then War Minister, General A. von Roon, to edit a fourth and revised edition of his “Ethnology as an Introduction to Political Geography” (Völkerkunde als Propädeutik der politischen Geographie). The wish of a man whose name is closely connected with the creation of our military system, became a duty to a German on whom the newly acquired strength of his nation has imposed obligations of gratitude towards its great originator and promoter. After a short correspondence it was agreed that the new work was to be described on the title-page as the joint production of Herr von Roon and the present author, and that it should be previously submitted to the former for approbation.