Flawed but Indispensable

The Parliament of Man
The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations
Paul Kennedy
Random House, $26.95, 384 pp.

The Best Intentions
Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power
James Traub
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26, 464 pp.

Few today remember the exhilaration with which people across the globe, including Americans, greeted the signing of the San Francisco Charter and the founding of the United Nations in 1945. There had been two massive military convulsions in just a quarter-century; many millions were dead; a whole continent was in ruins. And so there was a pervasive sense that, after the failure of the League of Nations, a new world order was required to...

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About the Author

George Jaeger, a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer, served in major U.S. embassies, was staff director of a Presidential Advisory Committee on Disarmament, and chaired NATO’s Political Committee. He was diplomat-in-residence at Middlebury College and continues to lecture and write on foreign affairs.

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