This book endeavors to give the reader some idea of action taken by the United States during the decade 1945-55 to advance American foreign policy objectives in social and economic fields--to extend "American freedoms"--notably where the United Nations was employed as an instrumentality. In order to represent the sweep of events through many scenes of the world's work, the author has sought to sharpen visibility by the use of illustrative case histories, which he has narrowed down to three--aid to refugees, programs of international development, and the crusade for human rights. In order to point up the relationships of these three chronicles to one another and to the mainspring of American action--namely, the national interest--he has ventured to open with an essay on the American philosophy of life in 1945, especially concerning the general welfare, and its translation into objectives of United States foreign policy.
The theme is American action that served to express the national interest and philosophy through use of the United Nations as the channel or as one of several channels for one policy or another. The book seeks neither to offer an apologia for the United Nations nor to bury it under a ten-year monument of praise nor to tear up its charter in a frenzy of nationalism. But it contains episodes that may illustrate suitable functions for a world-wide mechanism for work among nations, along with situations in which some other kind of device may seem preferable for the achievement of American aims.
It must become plain at once that this brief study is not meant to be, and by its very terms cannot be, exhaustive or definitive (or even