This book provides an authoritative account of the controversy about the first great debate in the field of International Relations. Of all the self-images of International Relations, none is as pervasive and enduring as the notion that a great debate pitting idealists against realists took place in the 1940s. The story of the first great debate continues to structure the contemporary identity of International Relations, yet in recent years revisionist historians have challenged the conventional wisdom that the field experienced such a debate. Drawing on expert contributors working in Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States, this book includes key participants in the historiographical controversy. The book assembles the existing scholarship and provides a thorough analysis of the status of the first great debate in the history of International Relations. It is an invaluable examination of the causes and future direction of idealist and realist arguments.International Relations and the First Great Debate will be of interest to students and scholars concerned with the foundations of International Relations.