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Act Of Creation: The Founding Of The United Nations: A Story Of Superpowers, Secret Agents, Wartime Allies And Enemies, And Their Quest For A Peaceful World
by Stephen C Schlesinger
Publisher: Westview Press 2003
Category: Non-fiction20th centuryPolitics
Avg Rating: (0 reviews)
When President Roosevelt died in April 1945, the plans for a United Nations suddenly fell into peril. Many wondered if the unassuming new president from Independence, Mo., would postpone the long-planned San Francisco conference scheduled to begin in two weeks' time. But Truman's commitment to the global organization was steadfast. For the previous 50 years, he had carried in his pocket a folded piece of paper with the words of his favorite poem, "Lockesley Hall," by Alfred Lord Tennyson: "Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd/In the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World./There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe/And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law." Thus, nothing halted the gathering of delegates from all over the world to discuss the thorny issues that would be addressed in the U.N. charter. Most of Schlesinger's book covers the nine-week San Francisco conference, a fascinating web of intrigue, power and greed. Most interesting is the performance by the American secretary of state, Edward Stettinius, chief overseer and coordinator of the conference. While his ability was doubted and he was criticized by many, Stettinius performed brilliantly, according to Schlesinger, who credits him with the conference's success. Whatever the reader's opinion of the U.N. and its current role, Schlesinger, director of the New School University's World Policy Institute, provides a masterful account of the drama acted out on the pressure-filled stage of San Francisco. He handles the complexities with ease and provides the reader with an engaging and thorough account.

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