• BOOKS

    The Eight Men Who Have Shaped the Top Job at the UN

    by  • April 17, 2014 • BOOKS • 

    UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold

    There have been eight secretaries-general of the United Nations in the 68 years since the first of them, Trygve Lie of Norway, took on this unique global position. All eight — all men — have been very different in character and personality, in their cultural and political backgrounds and in their views of how the [...]

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    Resource Wars: How Afraid Should We Be of China?

    by  • March 26, 2014 • BOOKS • 

    Xi Jinping of China

    The United States and Japanese military held joint war games in California in February, practicing how to invade and take back an island seized by hostile forces. While they didn’t say whose forces they were worried about, the drill was one more sign of growing global fears that China’s People’s Liberation Army may soon grab [...]

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    Just About Everyone Wanted Benazir Bhutto Dead

    by  • January 12, 2014 • BOOKS • 

    Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistani prime minister who was killed by a teenage suicide bomber in 2008.

    Why write a whodunit when you can’t say who done it? This is the challenging task undertaken by Heraldo Muñoz, a veteran Chilean diplomat and United Nations official, in his new book, “Getting Away With Murder: Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination and the Politics of Pakistan.” In 2009, the UN asked Muñoz to head an investigation into [...]

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    Defending Women’s Rights Against Muslim Fundamentalism

    by  • November 17, 2013 • BOOKS • 1 Comment

    Afghan women sorting pistachios in Herat

    Karima Bennoune grew up in Algeria in the 1990s, a dark period when the country was riven by Muslim fundamentalist violence and a repressive military dictatorship that responded to the fundamentalist threat with its own campaign of terror. Her father, Mahfoud Bennoune, an intellectual and outspoken critic of both the authorities and the fundamentalists who [...]

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    Why the UN Was Built in New York and Not in South Dakota

    by  • July 18, 2013 • BOOKS • 

    UN headquarters at Hunter College in the Bronx, 1946

    Who knew there was once such hot competition to host the United Nations? Not even the author of a book on the topic, when she first started out. One day in her home city of Philadelphia, Charlene Mires, an associate professor of history at Rutgers University, was going through some old newspaper clippings. One featured [...]

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    Shocking! Uncle Sam Is Not an Honest Broker

    by  • July 3, 2013 • BOOKS • 

    Demonstration against land confiscation, Beit Ummar

      You shouldn’t need a book to tell you that the Palestinians have gotten pretty much zilch out of the Middle East peace process. So readers of “Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East” are unlikely to be astonished by what they find there. The core argument of the [...]

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    Regional Organizations Remain Vital to the UN

    by  • April 30, 2013 • BOOKS • 

    Alicia Barcena of ECLAC and Jan Eliasson of the UN

    Formed as a “club” of nation states, the United Nations took some time to find out that cooperation with regional organizations might be of some use in improving social and economic living conditions as well as maintaining international peace and security and safeguarding the enjoyment of human rights. It was not before the economic crisis [...]

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    Diplomacy: An Insider’s Guide

    by  • March 21, 2013 • BOOKS, UN Diplomats • 1 Comment

    Kosovar refugee

    International crises are not always resolved on the battlefield or at the negotiating table. Sometimes breakthroughs come around a table at a restaurant that is continents away. Or they fall in place because of a thoughtful gesture made by an important player at a cemetery years before. This is one of the lessons of “Liberating [...]

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