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From the historic launch of the organization by such luminaries as Elihu Root and Charles Evans Hughes, to the recent era when international law is more and more in the public realm, Kirgis’s book traces the evolution of the organization and its relationship to events in the United States and around the world. As he says in the preface:
'...In the end, the reader will have to make his/her own judgment about how well the Society has run the course it set out for itself in 1906. I hope this book will provide a basis for that judgment. And of course no judgment at this stage can be final. The American Society of International Law will carry on into its second century with new and continuing programs that take into account what it has done in its first one hundred years. It will continue to do its best to demonstrate not only what international law is or should be, but also that, in the words of former ASIL President Louis Henkin, international law matters.'