No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (The Lawrence Stone Lectures)
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No Enchanted Palace traces the origins and early development of the United Nations, one of the most influential yet perhaps least understood organizations active in the world today. Acclaimed historian Mark Mazower forces us to set aside the popular myth that the UN miraculously rose from the ashes of World War II as the guardian of a new and peaceful global order, offering instead a strikingly original interpretation of the UN's ideological roots, early history, and changing role in world affairs.
Mazower brings the founding of the UN brilliantly to life. He shows how the UN's creators envisioned a world organization that would protect the interests of empire, yet how this imperial vision was decisively reshaped by the postwar reaffirmation of national sovereignty and the unanticipated rise of India and other former colonial powers. This is a story told through the clash of personalities, such as South African statesman Jan Smuts, who saw in the UN a means to protect the old imperial and racial order; Raphael Lemkin and Joseph Schechtman, Jewish intellectuals at odds over how the UN should combat genocide and other atrocities; and Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, who helped transform the UN from an instrument of empire into a forum for ending it.
A much-needed historical reappraisal of the early development of this vital world institution, No Enchanted Palace reveals how the UN outgrew its origins and has exhibited an extraordinary flexibility that has enabled it to endure to the present day.
Basutoland, on his own lines.” Milner himself spoke of “race patriotism,” and regarded “blood” as the glue binding the empire together. One sees in such words, to be sure, the abandonment of belief in assimilation and a more sharply racialized politics; the more important point is that this new racialization of colonial rule formed a key element in the imperial internationalism that was emerging at this time. Unconcerned with the rights of native Africans, Whitehall was deeply anxious about the
internationalism. Starting off as a classicist, Zimmern became briefly a key policymaker during the First World War: in fact, it was he who largely drafted the crucial Whitehall blueprint for the new League of Nations on which Smuts drew in 1918. When he left the Foreign Office he become a pioneer in the professional study of international relations, which he taught on both sides of the Atlantic as well as a leading figure in the League’s efforts to establish an international network of
global New Deal based on Western money and know-how—never materialized. This story may help us understand the decisiveness of the postwar shift away from minority rights. Initially this had reflected changing great power preferences. The League had only monitored the behavior of “new states,” because Britain, the United States, and France saw minority rights as an element in shoring up the cordon sanitaire they had created in Eastern Europe. After 1945, they had neither the capacity nor the
but he had resources at his disposal that had not been available earlier. International public opinion had hardened against any expansion of colonial rule—that very public opinion which Smuts himself had singled out in the preamble as so integral to the UN’s eventual success. And that opinion could now be expressed by noncolonial powers acting within the General Assembly. Perhaps more important, it was exploited by the USSR as well and—anxious not to be outdone, at least in an areas of the world
Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld to raise the profile of his office and embark on a new area of UN activity—peacekeeping—in the aftermath of the Suez crisis. The UN Military Staff might have proved abortive; likewise the attempt to use the UN to get atomic weapons under international control; but in this more modest area of international life, the world body quickly proved its utility.4 Still, a politicized General Assembly was not a reliable instrument for American goals. Majority voting gave