This is the annotated edition including the rare biographical essay by Edwin E. Slosson called "H. G. Wells - A Major Prophet Of His Time". The successor in our day to both Jules Verne and Edward Bellamy is H. G. Wells, and his book, "The World Set Free," embodies more of his creed than anything heretofore published. The goal of Mr. Wells' thinking is the end of war and the realization upon earth of a real "parliament of the world." This outcome is to be reached, not as in Bellamy's scheme by peaceful evolution, but only after the present social order has been rent asunder by the release of certain elemental physical forces to be revealed to man through processes similar to those that have led to the great discoveries and inventions of the more recent past. The only way by which war could be finally abolished, according to Mr. Wells, was through the demonstration of overwhelming destructiveness of these new physical agencies under partial human control. The phrase "atomic energy" is much used by Mr. Wells in describing this tremendous power that brings about the practical disintegration of the physical world as we know it today, and he prepares the reader for his disclosures concerning this explosive force by recalling the discoveries of radio-activity and the work of Marconi and their applications in our own industrial life. In this his method closely follows that of Jules Verne. On the side of social and political construction Mr. Wells is possibly less convincing, but considering the fact that he is compelled to presuppose a situation far removed from anything that this generation can easily imagine, this is not strange.
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