IN THE EYE OF THE STORM by Kurt Waldheim


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A global tour of the years during which Waldheim presided as UN Secretary-General. Waldheim stepped into big shoes, coming on the heels of Dag Hammarsjkold and U Thant. Following such giants, he was faced with putting his own stamp on this thankless job. Waldheim, a shyer man than this predecessors, and, arguably, the most unaligned politically, found that events were in the saddle and riding mankind, leaving him little to do but go in swinging. The lot of the Secretary-General is to live out of a suitcase, and Waldheim did while trying to keep or restore peace between decidedly unpeaceful factions. What adds interest to his recounting of this decade of diplomacy are his cameo descriptions of many of the world leaders whom he met in the course of his travails. George Bush appears as ""an engaging and open-minded man"" with ""absolute integrity."" Anwar Sadat has ""visionary ideas"" which he pursued ""scarcely heeding the advice of his chief counsellors."" Richard Nixon ""was the best prepared for his diplomatic responsibilities"" despite his ""little regard for the United Nations."" Jordan's King Hussein ""combines courage with cautious diplomacy."" Jimmy Carter was ""an excellent listener and a sharp questioner.""Waldheim takes time to discuss some of the problems of leadership and budgeting faced by himself and his successors. The Secretary. General presides over a bureaucracy of 14,000 people, a fact often lost in the nightly news' emphasis on personal diplomacy. Individual nations who contribute little to the budget are often the ones who vote overgenerous funds for projects. Waldheim's discussion of these problems makes this a useful book that transcends the mere memoir.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1985
Publisher: Adler & Adler--dist. by Harper & Row