The idea for this book germinated at a day-long symposium in February 1995, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Yalta Conference. Each of us presented a paper at the meeting, and collaboration continued as we attended other conferences over the ensuing years, becoming intrigued by the critical personal role American presidents have played in the historic development of the United Nations. The worldview of our presidents, who themselves have emerged from the democratic processes of American life, has shaped not only this country's foreign policies but also global institutions and politics in incalculable ways. The existence of the United Nations, its historical development, its successes, and its failures are very much consequences of the decisions made by the individuals who have occupied the Oval Office since 1945. This book attempts to capture the important contribution each president has made to UN history, and to assess the motivations that have driven presidential policy.
In 1997, at a conference on the Bush presidency held at Hofstra University, we met with a young editor from Peter Lang Publishing, Owen Lancer. He offered us a contract and began his steady and skilled encouragement and guidance of the project. Along with Owen's able involvement, Lang provided us as well the efficient and affable help of Karla Austin in the production of the book. A good copyeditor brings humility to any author. In our case Susan Gamer brought simplicity and elegance to our work. We thank her for that.
Over several years we have benefited in ways too numerous to recount from acquaintance with gifted colleagues who have encouraged our work on this project. First among them are the faculty advisers who attend with us the National Model United Nations, held annually in New York City at the United Nations. This largest student-administered conference in the United States brings together students and faculty members from around the nation and from foreign countries who have an abiding interest and faith in the worth of the United Nations. It was here, long ago, that the two of us first met. We also have appreciated the assistance of Cindy Combs at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, who has given us the opportunity on several occasions to put our work before our peers at the International Studies Association-South for critical review. We also want to thank Kenneth Thompson at the