FDR and the Creation of the U.N. / Edition 1

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Overview

In recent years the United Nations has become more active in-and more generally respected for-its peacekeeping efforts than at any other period in its fifty-year history. During the same period, the United States has been engaged in a debate about the place of the U.N. in the conduct of its foreign policy. This book, the first account of the American role in creating the United Nations, tells an engrossing story and also provides a useful historical perspective on the controversy.

Prize-winning historians Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley explain how the idea of the United Nations was conceived, debated, and revised, first within the U.S. government and then by negotiation with its major allies in World War II. The experience of the war generated increasing support for the new organization throughout American society, and the U.N. Charter was finally endorsed by the community of nations in 1945. The story largely belongs to President Franklin Roosevelt, who was determined to form an organization that would break the vicious cycle of ever more destructive wars (in contrast to the failed League of Nations), and who therefore assigned collective responsibility for keeping the peace to the five leading U.N. powers-the major wartime Allies. Hoopes and Brinkley focus on Roosevelt but also present vivid portraits of others who played significant roles in bringing the U.N. into being: these include Cordell Hull, Sumner Welles, Dean Acheson, Harry Hopkins, Wendell Willkie, Edward Stettinius, Arthur Vandenberg, Thomas Dewey, William Fulbright, and Walter Lippmann. In an epilogue, the authors discuss the checkered history of the United Nations and consider its future prospects.

In this comprehensive account, two prize-winning historians explain how the idea of the United Nations was conceived, debated, and revised, first within the U.S. government and then by negotiation with its major allies in World War II. 28 illustrations. 288 pp. 5,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300085532
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xi
CHAPTER 1 The Ghost of Woodrow Wilson 1
CHAPTER 2 A Grim Road to War 12
CHAPTER 3 Argentia and the Atlantic Charter 26
CHAPTER 4 Postwar Planning Begins 43
CHAPTER 5 The Widening Public Debate 55
CHAPTER 6 Progress in 1943 64
CHAPTER 7 Will the Russians Participate? 75
CHAPTER 8 Quebec and Moscow 83
CHAPTER 9 Cairo and Teheran 94
CHAPTER 10 High Hopes But Inherent Limits 110
CHAPTER 11 Domestic Politics in 1944 123
CHAPTER 12 The Dumbarton Oaks Conference I 133
CHAPTER 13 The Dumbarton Oaks Conference II 148
CHAPTER 14 The 1944 Election 159
CHAPTER 15 An Unsettling Winter 166
CHAPTER 16 Contention and Compromise at San Francisco 184
Epilogue 205
Appendix. Charter of the United Nations 223
Notes 251
Bibliography 271
Index 279
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