Michael Burleigh

World Order

No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations

By

Princeton University Press 236pp £16.95 order from our bookshop

The United Nations has come in for severe criticism from the likes of US ‘Ambassador’ John Bolton and his fellow neo-con hawks for its post-colonial biases, notably against Israel, and from liberals who believe it should be more active in pursuing the agendas of human-rights lawyers and NGOs. Ironically, its most stalwart defenders are such autocracies as China and Russia, as well as the many dictatorships represented in the General Assembly, for the UN manages to combine its global humanitarian and peace-keeping efforts with a staunch defence of the sovereign integrity of its member nation states. The US seems to be taking a fresh look at the organisation. After the aggressive unilateralism of George W Bush, the UN may come back from the margins under the more multilaterally minded Barack Obama, an early recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize because of his rediscovery of diplomacy. Here is an opportunity indeed.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Tarantino's latest film is 'a fairy tale about Hollywood, where fantasy is an industrial product and the boulevards… ,
    • 'I don’t think we’re here on Earth to be Happy. I think we’re here on Earth to help God. I am a messianic writer'.… ,
    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,