DAG HAMMARSKJOLD: A Spiritual Portrait by Sven Stolpe

DAG HAMMARSKJOLD: A Spiritual Portrait

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Swedish author Sven Stolpe was a close friend of Dag Hammarskjold in their youth. Whether this friendship was maintained through the years to his death is difficult to tell in a study that remains objective and apart even while probing the most delicate aspects of Hammarskjold's psyche. Stolpe looks back to the early influences of a father whose most important legacy to his son was the belief in an international dispensation of Justice, to a mother whose embracing personality was difficult if not impossible to leave behind. He recalls Hammarskjold at Uppsala, and as a student living alongside life, marching to a different beat, seeking its innermost reality in a more hidden community. He sees Hammarskjold as a man who ""never lost sight of his demons and in the end conquered them."" He witnesses his loneliness, a despondency lightened when his vocation became clear to him with his UN task, views Markings as Hammarskjold's ""own myth about his mission."" He refutes Bartel's analysis -- for him, HammarskJold does not remain a ""pitiful, barren aesthete and intellectual"" but emerges a classic Christian, a witness that the Christian path is still the way of life. It is a dispassionate yet compassionate study, the sort to dispel myths and legends, but it is too remote to reach the general reader.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 1965
Publisher: Scribners