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by Townsend Hoopes & Douglas Brinkley

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-300-06930-8
Publisher: Yale Univ.

 From the authors of Driven Patriot (1992), a history of the rise of the United Nations out of the ashes of the failed League of Nations and WW II. Hoopes and Brinkley devote most of the story to FDR, who was determined throughout the war to create an international organization that would be an effective guarantor of peace. Planning for a postwar international world order began as early as 1942, when Soviet and Chinese representatives joined with FDR and Winston Churchill in signing the Declaration of United Nations, in which they vowed not to sign a separate peace with the Axis and to wage war with all their resources. As early as this FDR had developed the idea that powerful nations, like Britain and the US, should be ``trustees'' for world peace for the less powerful nations. The debate in the US about he shape of a new world order began early in the war as well: The failure of the League of Nations was ever-present in the public mind. While plans for a postwar world order took shape at the conferences between FDR and Churchill, attempts were made to involve the prickly Soviets, without whose cooperation no world organization could be created. The planning culminated in the 1945 San Francisco Conference, which formally gave birth to the UN. In an epilogue, the authors consider the manner in which the UN became an arena for playing out Cold War tensions and, in the cases of the Korean War and the Gulf War (in both cases led by the US), a means by which the world coordinated a response to international aggression. The authors argue that, in a world of escalating North-South conflict, the UN system needs continued strong US support. An absorbing study of the genesis of the UN and its continuing importance, with all its imperfections, to world peace.