" Mackinder is one of the most distinguished living geographers...a wealth of historical and geographical knowledge." - Fortnightly Review, 1920"This volume will become standard for its treatment of the broad outlines of commercial and industrial geography." -The Atlantic Monthly, 1921"Mackinder is a man of distinction, director of the London School of Economics, a member of Parliament… a book which is of signal interest and importance to all students of history and of politics " American Historical Review, 1920Sir Halford John Mackinder's 1919 book "Democratic Ideals and Reality" discusses the geographical and consequent trade basis of a lasting world peace. He points out how the seeds of past wars have been sown in former treaties of peace which, based on dynastic aspirations, ignored physical geography and the inevitable routes of trade. This is a study in the politics of reconstruction from the pen of a British member of Parliament who was former director of the London School of Economics and Finance. Mackinder, was one of the most distinguished living geographers, and wrote solely from the point of view of geography, and based his political conclusions on the solid foundation of geographical fact, for no political ideals whatever can afford to be pursued at the expense of reality. Democratic Ideals and Reality presented his theory of the Heartland and made a case for fully taking into account geopolitical factors at the Paris Peace conference and contrasted (geographical) reality with Woodrow Wilson's idealism. The book's most famous quote was: "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World." This message was composed to convince the world statesmen at the Paris Peace conference of the crucial importance of Eastern Europe as the strategic route to the Heartland was interpreted as requiring a strip of buffer state to separate Germany and Russia. These were created by the peace negotiators but proved to be ineffective bulwarks in 1939 (although this may be seen as a failure of other, later statesmen during the interbellum). The principal concern of his work was to warn of the possibility of another major war (a warning also given by economist John Maynard Keynes).Mackinder was anti-Bolshevik, and as British High Commissioner in Southern Russia in late 1919 and early 1920, he stressed the need for Britain to continue her support to the White Russian forces, which he attempted to unite.In introducing his book Mackinder writes: " My endeavor, in the following pages, will be to measure the relative significance of the great features of our globe as tested by the events of history, including the history of the last four years, and then to consider how we may best adjust our ideals of freedom to these lasting realities of our Earthly Home. But first we must recognize certain tendencies of human nature as exhibited in all forms of political organization."Regarding idealism, Mackinder notes: "In the established Democracies of the West, the ideals of Freedom have been transmuted into the prejudices of the average citizen, and it is on these 'habits of thought' that the security of our freedom depends, rather than on the passing ecstasies of idealism. For a thousand years such prejudices took root under the insular protection of Britain; they are the outcome of continuous experiment, and must be treated at least with respect, unless we are prepared to think of our forefathers as fools."About the author: Sir Halford John Mackinder (1861 –1947) was an English geographer, academic, politician, the first Principal of University Extension College, Reading (which became the University of Reading) and Director of the London School of Economics.