Countenance of Truth: The United Nations and the Waldheim Case

Countenance of Truth: The United Nations and the Waldheim Case

by Shirley Hazzard

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hazzard's often shocking expose is political dynamite. She charges that Kurt Waldheim campaigned to become the United Nations' fourth Secretary-General, confident that details of his concealed past as a soldier for Hitler, implicated in Nazi atrocities, would be kept secret by the top powers. Waldheim, during his U.N. years, emerges as a pliable tool, both of the Soviets, for whom he performed outrageous favors, and of the U.S., quite possibly as an asset of the American intelligence community. To Hazzard, who worked at the U.N. for 10 years, the Waldheim affair is symptomatic of that organization's moral and political bankruptcy. She documents a secret agreement between Trygve Lie, the first Secretary-General, and the U.S. State Department, whereby applicants for key U.N. positions were screened by U.S. agents; hundreds of U.N. employees subsequently were fired or resigned due to intimidation or disillusion. Anyone concerned with the U.N.'s rejuvenation--or reconstitution--should read this book. 25,000 first printing; first serial to the New Yorker. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This book by U.N. insider Hazzard has a provocative yet poorly developed leitmotif--that of the superpowers' unwillingness to honor the U.N.'s founding principles combined with a history of inept, egocentric, and, at times, immoral secretaries-general. Hazzard is right in her attack on Trygve Lie's lack of moral fiber, to say nothing of the disgrace wreaked upon the United Nations by Kurt Waldheim's belated disclosure of his war-time activities. However, Thomas Franck's Nation Against Nation (LJ 5/1/85) much more thoroughly analyzes the ways in which the United Nations has deviated from its founders' intentions, and many books have more systematically and objectively examined its various leaders. And it is indefensible in a book marketed as a comprehensive analysis of the United Nations to overlook the contributions to world peace made by Waldheim's successor, Javier Perez de Cuellar. Not recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/89.-- Michael G. Schechter, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
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20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)

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