In three lecture series given in 1961 the brilliant interpreter of ages past turns his experienced eye upon present history--its obvious dilemmas and its more recondite consequences. The title essays examine the nature of America's world leadership on the historical premise that the United States has converted from its original arch-revolutionary inspiration to an arch-conservative power, acting to protect the vested interests of its affluent minority. Although critical of the handicap of national wealth, Toynbee believes constructively in the familiar panacea: better human relations on foreign soil through better national representatives. The emphasis must be, he claims, on social justice, not on the ""maximum amount of consumer goods per head"". In the series entitled The Present Day Experiment in Western Civilization. Toynbee first uses Hellenie history as a soothsaying mirror for the Western future, and then discusses the attraction for non-Western peoples of the ""modern, scientific, democratic"" way of Western life. The relevant failure of the alluring but seemingly impracticable, parliamentary democracy in African and Asian nations is accorded its place as well. The last essays view the economic problems of Latin American in their inevitable conjunction with the demands for social justice. If the issues resemble journalistic commonplace, the insight is, as always, endowed by Toynbee's cosmic grasp of history and world affairs. Particularly interesting: his prognosis for America's diplomatic maladies.