While I did not find the book very well written/edited, it was very interesting subject matter for anyone who needs to understand the history and functioning of the United Nations. Many of the characters at the 1945 conference in San Francisco that negotiated the UN Charter were important later in U.S. and Cold War history. Several future Presidential candidates and Secretaries of State played key roles; even a young JFK was there as a reporter! Having just lived through the UN climate change negotiations in Durban at the end of 2011, I also found the struggles of smaller and larger countries to protect their individual national interests while keeping sight of an important global goal, and the need of the U.S. delegation to plan ahead regarding Congressional action, very relevant to today's multilateral negotiations.Jarod
Great account of how negotiation is done and decisions are made. It's a bit difficult to establish the chronology at times, as there is quite a bit of back-and-forth. Also, although the book is not meant to be an evaluation of the UN or its Charter, Schlesinger is unabashedly in love with the UN exactly as it is, and thus belittles its critics then and now without any analysis of their criticisms. I found some of the most powerful moments in the book to be toward the end, as the Charter was being signed and then ratified. Schlesinger places the reader in the moment, and it was an amazing moment.Cathy
Interesting to find out what happened in the beginnings of the United Nations, an organization that I've taken for granted until I read this book. A little more detail about the process than I wanted, but still a good read.Julian Haigh
Very brief introduction of the UN. But then, it's a rather vacuous entity when it comes down to it anyway - hardly superfluous, but now I'm getting political.