The United Nations: A Handbook on the New World Organization


To the average citizen of any of its fifty-one member states it appears, at first glance, an almost superhuman task to understand the complicated machinery and the involved basic principles of the United Nations. Many people find it too difficult to thread their way through the vast labyrinth of an international organization that covers every continent and almost every field of human activity.

In San Francisco and in London, in Paris and in Brussels, in Oslo and in Amsterdam, this writer found thousands rejoicing over the continuation in peace of the war-time unity of the Allies. But many of them helplessly shrugged their shoulders as soon as they were asked certain elementary questions about an organization upon which they knew their own future depended.

It was pathetic to see an elderly American lady--who had lost her husband in the first world war and whose three sons were in this one--puzzling over the articles of the freshly printed United Nations Charter. After a while she closed the pamphlet and said listlessly, "The only thing I can do is hope and pray for peace."

And there was the French farmer who during the occupation had become an important and incredibly courageous messenger between various Resistance groups and had paid the price for opposing the Nazis with the loss of his family and his home. It was painful to hear him say after listening to all the explanations, "Well, it's no use. I can plough my field and take up a gun when freedom is threatened, but this thing is just too complicated for me."

And yet the philosophy of the whole organization as well as the machinery itself was conceived in its broad outlines by three of the world's most popular leaders, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. Each of these three men--whatever one's final judgment about them may be--has proved beyond doubt, through the immense success achieved in his own country, that he knows how to talk to vast numbers of people, and how to create unparalleled enthusiasm for the ideas for which he stood. Their secretaries of state and various other aides who perfected the final wording of the Charter and the other existing international instruments, have all successfully withstood the fire of public life. They have gone through the mill of difficult political careers, and it can be assumed that they . . .

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1946


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