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FDR and the Creation of the U.N. Hardcover – March 27, 1997

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (March 27, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300069308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300069303
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,471,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

At a time when it is fashionable to declare the United Nations as part of the problem, rather than the solution, to international conflicts, two noted historians lucidly explain how the original objective of the body has been lost among indecision, ideological quarreling, and a lack of clear leadership. In FDR and the Creation of the U.N., Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley examine the inception of the U.N. and chart its rocky history, identifying FDR as the primary player in the creation of the assembly.

In citing the U.N.'s biggest problems, the authors do not call for disbanding the body. Instead, in keeping with FDR's original vision, they offer solutions for improvements and insights. The challenges are formidable, however, as even daily operations are stalled due to the debt of $3.3 billion owed by U.N. members. The authors pay particular attention to the United States' responsibility for international peacekeeping. To make the U.N. effective, they argue, the U.S. must not only pay its share of the debt, but accept the fact that it has the military and political power to create results--if only it chooses to do so.

From Library Journal

Hoopes and Brinkley (Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years, LJ 11/1/92) offer a short history of the formation of the United Nations. They trace decades of interplay between idealism and realpolitik, from the League of Nations, through World War II and postwar diplomacy and planning, to the U.N.'s birth in 1945 in San Francisco. In a preface, the coauthors state their hope that "more reasoned, more consistent" U.S. support of the U.N. will result from an understanding of the decisive role played by Franklin Roosevelt and other Americans in its creation; yet they express doubt, in an epilog, that the organization will achieve the reforms needed to win that support. In between, the authors deliver a fine narrative based largely on familiar secondary sources, such as Ruth B. Russell's History of the United Nations Charter (Brookings, 1958) and Robert A. Divine's Second Chance (LJ 4/1/67). Most useful to libraries serving undergraduates.?Robert F. Nardini, North Chichester, N.H.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While this book would be leisure reading to only the most dedicated UN or FDR follower, it is one of the best books I could find for a report on the subject. The book is quite thorough and the different aspects the authors discussed gave me a greater understanding of the process. Many of the decisions made prior to the creation of the UN were delicate with the opposing desires of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. This book explains how Roosevelt contributed along with other factors that affected his moves including early influences from Wilson's League of Nations. Although this book would not be for everybody, it is a must read for those with a genuine intrest--or a school report--on this subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Todd Carlsen on April 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
60 million people died in World War II. 18 million died in World War I. The financial costs were huge. Franklin Roosevelt was determined to prevent a third world war, and to foster stability and prosperity in the world. His plan worked, though the U.N. has not unfolded as he envisioned.
This insightful book examines the creation of the U.N. and today's issues. Below is an abbreviated review by H-Net I found on the Internet:
Begin quote
Reviewed by Matthew S. Magda, Sacred Heart University.
Published by H-USA (December, 1997)
FDR and the Creation of the U.N.
The United Nations has received renewed attention since the end of the Cold War. In the early 1990s, especially following the success of the U.N.-authorized coalition against Iraq's military seizure of Kuwait, hopes rose among internationalists that the United Nations would now play its proper role as primary deterrent of international aggression. No longer fettered by the rivalry between the most powerful members of its Security Council, the United Nations could begin functioning as the guarantor of international peace and prosperity...
Currently, Americans are involved in both rational and emotionally-charged discussions about the future role of the United Nations and its potential impact on U.S. foreign policy... There are those who argue that a strong United Nations is essential because it will serve the long-term interests of the United States to have an institution with legitimate international credentials to turn to for help in settling conflicts and subduing threats to global stability. This latter view is shared by the authors of FDR and the Creation of the U.N.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That is what I was wondering when reading the excellent book about the creation of the UN. When you read the book you may wonder too. The UN has not delivered what he hoped for that is permanent peace. There has not been a third world war and may be the UN has made a contribution. There have however several wars between small countries and civil wars. The UN has shown itself to be a more useful organization than the League of Nations it replaced.

Roosevelt realized that the allocation of responsibility to prevent and halt wars could only be assigned to great powers and that if these great powers would not join the UN unless, the "Policemen" had a right of veto on the use of force. Roosevelt would be disappointed that these veto powers were used so frequently. Roosevelt would have expected at there would be one United Europe representative with real power instead stead of two representing only a small part of Europe. He would also have welcomed India and Japan to join the Security Council. He would still be convinced that his idea of a few large powers with the responsibility to maintain peace was the right principle. He would have concluded that new methods have to found to reduce tensions inside and between states and solve poverty problems.

This book describes in an excellent and complete way the difficulties to arrive at the organization and its rules and authority. The authors also describe the organizational weaknesses of the UN organization such as the lack of competences of many of the staff and the immense difficulties to reorganizing the UN to become more efficient and effective.
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