Empire and Nations was written in tribute to the accomplishments of Frederic Hubert Soward – teacher, scholar, and administrator – who for forty-two years served in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia. Throughout his career he has made significant contributions to international understanding and the study of international relations through his writings, public lectures, and participation in international organizations and conferences.
The volume consists of essays by fourteen outstanding contributors, all of whom are former students or associates of Professor Soward. The essays have as their common subject the nations that evolved within the British Empire and found, or are finding, their place in the world. Papers written by John Conway, Harvey L. Dyck, G.P. de T. Glazebrook, Edward D. Greathed, John W. Holmes, R.A. MacKay, Norman A.M. MacKenzie, Kenneth A. MacKirdy, H. Blair Neatby, and Peter B. Waite develop the subject from the perspectives of nation-building in Canada and Canada's developing the role in world affairs.
Peter Harnetty, Jane Banefield Haynes, and J. Bertin Webster contribute studies of nationalism and empire in Asia and Africa. Also included in the volume are a biographical introduction by Margaret A. Ormsby, a list of the writings of F.H. Soward compiled by Eleanor Mercer, and a tribute to Professor Soward by Lester B. Pearson.