Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Table of Contents
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Asked by a friend why and when I became interested in Dag Hammar-skj√∂ld, I could find no beginning. There must have been one; I‚Äôve walked with him for decades now, though I don‚Äôt imagine he‚Äôs noticed. He is long since gone. He was the second secretary-general of the United Na-tions, serving in the years 1953‚Äď61, formidable in his time, somewhat ...
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This book has had and has needed many friends. In the United States, Tracy Cochran embraced the project early as both literary agent and ad-viser. Her unreasonable faith in the project and her publishing experi-ence and fine intelligence have meant the world to me. In Sweden, my early and wonderful collaborator, Daniel von Sydow, translated Dag ...
1. Mr. Hammarskjöld
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...‚ÄúYou see,‚ÄĚ he once said, ‚Äúeven a very small dent may lead to a rift, and a rift may lead to an opening and you may break in through the wall. . . . The interesting thing is, is this a dent which may lead to a rift?‚ÄĚ1 He was speaking of the search for nuclear disarmament. A dent that leads to a rift is needed here also because Dag Hammarskj√∂ld is all but forgotten. His star rises astronomically on special occasions and anniversaries, and declines until the next. Yet ...
2. Steep Swedish Hills
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In nearly every young life the essential escapes. Family, education, friends, influences, and incidents can be documented. But the gifts and purposes deeply native to the person remain at least partially undisclosed until they deploy in the life and begin their work. This is obvious, hardly worth stating. But in the context of Dag Hammarskj√∂ld‚Äôs earlier years it bears repeating. The conditions of his early life, though materially comfortable, socially privileged, and educationally elite, should ...
3. You Asked for Burdens
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Hammarskj√∂ld in Stockholm is a study in promise. The professional economist emerged, increasingly an expert among experts with ever-growing responsibility for issues of the national economy. Alongside and within him, the literate spiritual seeker continued to mature and question. As he often said, he was uneasy. His education was unfinished. Rapidly acquiring systematic professional knowledge for his new role in life, he toiled also toward that elusive ...
4. The Fire of Clear Eyes: 1950–1952
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Strange to say, we can know more of this statesman‚Äôs inner experience in the years just prior to his election as secretary-general than we can readi-ly know of his life as a government official. Much of his day-to-day work occurred behind closed doors and, while archival minutes may exist, the issues in them would for the most part no longer compel attention. He ...
5. Monastic Enough?
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Consider two scenes. It is late March, 1953. Dag Hammarskj√∂ld, known to few reporters covering UN affairs, has just been nominated by the Security Council as the next secretary-general. A UN press officer calls a hasty press conference to convey the bare essentials of Hammarskj√∂ld‚Äôs background for tomorrow‚Äôs papers. He runs through various official positions‚ÄĒchairman of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Sweden, state secretary in the Department ...
6. Possibility Never Touched Upon
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The process was a bizarre blend of systematic negotiation and jerky improvisation. Trygve Lie‚Äôs resignation speech in the General Assembly on November 10th, 1952, set in motion a diplomatic merry-go-round that revolved and slowed, and revolved again through late March of the following year, when Dag Hammarskj√∂ld was nominated by the Security Council and quickly endorsed by the General Assembly. His election surprised everyone. He hadn‚Äôt even been a dark ...
7. This Little Republic
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On May 9th, just one month after taking office, Hammarskj√∂ld wrote a compelling report on the feel of his new life to close friends Leif and Greta Belfrage. ‚ÄúOf this [the UN] I somehow It remains too preposterous‚ÄĒboth evil and encouraging. The Thou-Sermon on the Mount as a counterpoint. No, you cannot understand For the most part people have been incredibly kind and it has all gone well in a way I haven‚Äôt at all deserved. There is wind in the sails, ...
8. A Swarm of Ideas
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The emphasis on ideas and attitudes in the preceding chapter could give the false impression that Hammarskj√∂ld was functioning as a sort of Plato in the palace of the Sicilian tyrant‚ÄĒa thinker and preacher otherwise unengaged. That was of course not so. His political wisdom and practical abilities were engaged at every level, from entering for the first time into Middle East diplomacy to taking on a local New York tyrant, Robert Moses, over the grave issue of parking permits in ...
9. It Takes Life to Love Life
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Something in Hammarskj√∂ld‚Äôs year-end message offended his industrious Swedish gadfly, Herbert Tingsten. The classic photo of Tingsten‚ÄĒvide Wikipedia‚ÄĒmakes him look like a heavy in a 1940s film noir, but that may be misleading. As editor-in-chief of a major newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, Tingsten could and did pursue Hammarskj√∂ld throughout the UN years, all the while exchanging occasional letters with him and seeing him time and again in New York, ...
10. Un Chinois aux Yeux Bleus
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During a New York season of their theater company, the famed actor Jean-Louis Barrault and his wife, Madeleine Renaud, were invited by Hammarskj√∂ld‚Äôs French chief of protocol to bring their troupe to UN headquarters to perform Le Misanthrope. It was March 1957, well after the events we‚Äôre about to explore. After lunch √† quatre with the secretary-general on the day of the performance, the chief of protocol turned to Barrault. What did he think of his host? ...
11. Causal Chains
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For all its drama, the Peking negotiation was an elegant chamber composition marred only by occasional fits of coughing in the audience. The Middle East in 1956‚Äď57 wants some other description: always tumultuous and periodically violent, it drew into complex scenarios five regional states (Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon), two superpowers (the United States, the Soviet Union), and two European powers (Britain and France)‚ÄĒplus the UN. The region ...
12. Unrighteous Shooting Wars
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The British Empire was, among many other things, cozy. At its height before World War I, and even in the less tranquil interwar period, there was almost always a recognizable scene no matter how distant from the British Isles: travelers could find high tea; civil servants and the military posted abroad lived in communities along familiar lines; businesspeople and high government officials found their own kind in exclusive clubs from Rangoon and Bombay to Cairo ...
13. Into All Corners of the Earth
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It could be said in low language‚ÄĒfor example, by Hammarskj√∂ld‚Äôs colleague George Ivan Smith: ‚ÄúI think the concept of ‚ÄėLeave it to Dag‚Äô was the farthest [thing] from his own mind. It was a political imperative . . . put upon him by people who didn‚Äôt know what the hell else to do.‚ÄĚ1 And it could be said in high language‚ÄĒby U Thant, his distinguished successor as secretary-general: ‚ÄúIt became a common practice, when any difficult situation came along, for the major organs ...
14. Face the Cold Winds
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...‚ÄúI think the United Nations should face the cold winds of the day,‚ÄĚ he said to the UN press corps at one of their luncheons.1 When Hammarskj√∂ld returned to New York from Cambridge, cold winds were blowing. The situation suddenly facing him seemed like a Suez Crisis in the making with Middle Eastern nations in conflict and jeopardy, soon a murderous coup, abrupt Western military interventions, Soviet threats, a deadlocked Security Council, and an emergency session ...
15. Like Fighting an Avalanche
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...‚ÄúBlood, grime, sweat, earth,‚ÄĚ Hammarskj√∂ld wrote in his journal years ago, in 1954, ‚Äúwhere are these in your world of will? Everywhere‚ÄĒthe ground from which the flame ascends straight upwards.‚ÄĚ1 His faith in ascending transformation met A long arc links the late nineteenth-century Scramble for Africa by European nations greedy for colonies to Hammarskj√∂ld‚Äôs moment when colonial power receded from the continent. The scramble had been sol-...
16. Have Mercy upon Our Efforts
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...‚ÄúThis has now developed into a [chess] problem. . . ,‚ÄĚ he would write to the Swedish foreign minister in mid-March. ‚ÄúThe Soviets have not even managed to convince themselves . . . that there has been . . . any lack of objectivity on my side. It is funny when time in this way, even among those responsible, eliminates even the last vestige of an emotional involvement in the coldly calculated tactical moves in so-called politics. I am afraid I am [enough] of an intellectual ...
17. Far Away a Heart Stops
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...‚ÄúThis is excellent, if it‚Äôs true; but is it not too simple?‚ÄĚIn mid-August Hammarskj√∂ld endorsed his colleague‚Äôs skeptical wit, but he also had new hope that the crisis might wind down. Operation Rumpunch made sense to him as a step in that direction. By design it was forceful but nonviolent. Not a shot was fired; the show of ...
Afterword: The Spirit in Public Life
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...‚ÄúOne with your task, whole in your duty of the moment,‚ÄĚ he wrote in his journal in the fall of 1957.1 To this day there is a rush of good energy in these words, which capture his way of engaging. They are a mandate, not a description: for this he Consider other words he wrote that year: ‚ÄúWe all have within us a center of stillness surrounded by silence‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒthis from the text distributed at the entrance to the Room of Quiet.2 These words whisper. There is ...
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pp. Image 1 -Image 16
...(photo: G√∂sta Lundquist, in the collection of Nordiska Museet) Fig. 2 Hjalmar Hammarskj√∂ld, Dag‚Äôs father. (photo: private collection) Fig. 3 Agnes Hammarskj√∂ld with her son Dag. (photo: private collection) Fig. 4 The Hammarskj√∂ld sons (from left to right): Bo, Dag, √Öke, Sten.Fig. 8 Dag Hammarskj√∂ld, secretary-general elect, and Trygve Lie, outgoing ...
Abbreviations in the Endnotes
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Acknowledgments to Rights Owners
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Literary and photographic documents publicly available in the Swedish National Library (Kungliga biblioteket), Stockholm, are published in this book in conformity with the Swedish Copyright Act, Chapter 2, Columbia University Press, publisher of the Public Papers of Dag Ham-marskj√∂ld, does not assert copyright over the wealth of United Nations ...
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Page Count: 752
Illustrations: 20 B&W Halftones
Publication Year: 2013