Dag Hammarskjold, Custodian of the Brushfire Peace

By Joseph P. Lash | Go to book overview

12
The UN and the Cold War

At one of the first news conferences after Hammarskjold was notified of his selection as Secretary-General, he was asked whether Soviet agreement on his candidacy was a sign the Soviet bloc intended to end the cold war.

"I can't put any such interpretation on my appointment," he answered carefully, "but I think I can interpret it as a sign of a more cooperative spirit on the part of the Big Five."

When he assumed office he considered the supreme, inescapable challenge facing the UN to be the peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Communist world and the West. Speaking to the UN staff in Geneva, he commented that "where our predecessors dreamt of a new heaven, our greatest hope is that we may be permitted to save the old earth."

The year 1953 was a time when powerful forces in both camps regarded coexistence as a form of appeasement. Hammarskjold soon ran afoul of the U.S. intransigents on this issue. With an

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Dag Hammarskjold, Custodian of the Brushfire Peace
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents *
  • 1 - Custodian of the Brushfire Peace 1
  • 2 - Dag Hammarskjold -- Who is He? 7
  • 3 - The Swedish Heritage . . . the Private Man Should Disappear."" 16
  • 4 - An International Priesthood 46
  • 5 - Mission to Peking 56
  • 6 - Holding the Line in the Middle East 66
  • 7 - Back from the Brink 80
  • 8 - The Steep Hill of Suez 94
  • 9 - Arab Good Neighbors"" 112
  • 10 - Constantly Rebuffed but Never Discouraged"" 128
  • 11 - Preventive Diplomacy 137
  • 12 - The UN and the Cold War 147
  • 13 - The UN as a Third Force 164
  • 14 - A UN Presence 177
  • 15 - Vox Populorum 189
  • 16 - The Sources of His Power"" 203
  • 17 - The Private Man 213
  • 18 - The Congo-- Precedent or Fiasco? 223
  • 19 - Chairman Khrushchev Pounds the Desk 263
  • 20 - One-Man Job 281
  • Epilogue 293
  • Index 298
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