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Dag Hammarskjöld
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4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  841 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Dag Hammarskjold left behind the manuscript of this book to be published after his death. It is a remarkable record of the spiritual life of a man whose public image was universally known and admired — a record that reveals the extent of his commitment to the Way of the Cross.

Hammarskjold himself described the manuscript as a "sort of white book concerning my negotiations

Hardcover, Large Print
Published by G. K. Hall & Company (first published 1963)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,174)
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K.D. Absolutely
For the last couple of months, this small book was what I brought with me to the church when I attended the Sunday masses. My daughter volunteered to man the overhead projector on the 8:30am slot and she had to be there before 8am and stayed for another 30 mins afterwards to shutdown and go out without showing herself to the people as she descended the stairs in front of the altar. So, I read this book only during Sundays for two months and it was quite fitting because the book is a compilation ...more
Dec 19, 2014 Rowena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Beautiful writing and profound thoughts from the late former secretary-general of the United Nations.


"Why this desire in all of us that,after we have disappeared, the thoughts of the living shall now and again dwell upon our name? Our name. Anonymous immortality we cannot escape. The consequences of our lives and actions can no more be erased than they can be identified and duly "labelled- to our honour or our shame.
'The poor ye have always with you.' The dead too."

"Why is it that whe
I began thinking about Dag Hammarskjöld, for no apparent reason, and ordered this book from the library. Then it came, and I discovered it was translated by WH Auden! Now I had an actual reason to read it -- plus I had learned online, that it was a "spiritual autobiography." It's a strange book, published in English in 1964, and apparently forgotten completely. Though it's just as good as Thich Nhat Hanh. (I'm just guessing -- I went for a walk once with Mr. Hanh, but he didn't say anything. Thi ...more
Jul 17, 2011 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, god
It is impossible to summarise a book which spans the entirety of a person's life, but perhaps it is possible to discern the themes or issues that this person obsessed over, at least at a personal level. Other people's diaries make for strange reading experience: you are unsure whether you are merely seeing your own obsessions dressed in other people's words, or whether you are really reading them aright. Many things -- a lot of the haikus written in the 2 years before his death, for example -- I ...more
I love this book! On the surface, it's just a collection of one man’s quotes, poetry, reflections, and truths. And yet what makes the book special is who the author was: Dag Hammarskjöld, praised by many, including our own President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, who called Hammarskjöld “the greatest statesman of our century”. He was UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize; there has been persistent ...more
David Bjorlin
Parts of the book are 5 star brilliant, and parts are 1 star melodramatic. I left resonating most strongly with what Auden said in the introduction: "It is possible that [Hammarskjöld's] lack of participation in the liturgical and sacramental life of a church was a deliberate act of self-sacrifice on his part, that, as Secretary General, he felt any public commitment to a particular body would label him as too 'Western,' but he gives no evidence in his diary of desiring such a commitment. In any ...more
Marisa Bennett
A highly respected politico here in the U.S., Dag was a brilliant thinker. Do yourself a favor. Pick up this book. Read through it bit by bit. That is how it is meant to be read. I will NEVER give away my copy.
Patrick Sprunger
It would be egomania to say that I feel a lot like Dag Hammarskjold. The scale of personal responsibility I have for the people of my county is a mere grain before the burden Hammarskjold bore for the world. Nevertheless, it's a responsibility I try to own with humility and the right attitude - an attitude based on the belief that every person of means (be they physical, emotional, or mental) has an obligation to take the hardest job and carry the greatest load they can - because there might not ...more
Charles Rouse
Aug 28, 2016 Charles Rouse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm old enough that I grew up with Dag Hammarskjold in the news on about a weekly basis. He was the second Secretary General of the United Nations at a time that people paid a lot more attention to the United Nations than they do now. He was a genuine figure, sincere, genuinely concerned with world peace, and with humanity in general.
A Swede, Hammarskjold was a lifelong practicing Lutheran. His spiritual diary was published as "Markings." "Marking," was translated by WH Auden, the poet, with he
Rebecca Foster
I had long been aware of this theological work by Hammarskjöld, a 1950s U.N. Secretary General. In the end I floundered through nearly a third of his dense collection of religious epigrams, but found it all a bit too abstract. Which is a shame, especially because it’s translated and introduced by W.H. Auden (Faber and Faber, 1964).

I did love this line, however: “only that can be really yours which is another’s, for only what you have given, be it only in the gratitude of acceptance, is salvaged
Feb 29, 2016 Yvonne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De Zweedse diplomaat Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) bracht het tot Secretaris Generaal van de Verenigde Naties. Hammarskjöld kan omschreven worden als een succesvol man met een onvoorwaardelijke plichtsbetrachting. Hij bezocht veel landen en had contact met de groten der aarde, maar hij bleef bescheiden en vond het een eer om dienstbaar te zijn. Hij leefde alleen en was vaak eenzaam.
Na zijn dood ten gevolge van een vliegtuigongeluk vond men in zijn appartement in New York zijn dagboekaa
Gregg Bell
Jan 29, 2015 Gregg Bell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Markings is a remarkable book by a remarkable man (with a pain in the butt name to write so I'll just call him Dag).

Dag was the Secretary General of the United Nations. But beyond that he was an intense soul-searching human being and a poet. Markings is his gift to the world. (He died in 1961 in a plane crash while still head of the U.N.)

It's hard to describe a book like Markings. It's simply Dag's poems and thoughts and observations about life and living. It is laid out chronologically but that
Nov 08, 2014 Bakunin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an essay I wrote about the work in Swedish (after a rereading of Vägmärken):

”Skall äcklet över tomheten vara det enda av liv med vilket Du fyller tomheten?” Kraftfullt, direkt och avskalat riktas orden mot ett ”Du”; detta är början på en livslång dialog med Gud. Författaren är FN:s före detta generalsekreterare Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) som dog för drygt 53 år sedan i en flygkrasch i dagens Zambia. Orden är tagna ur hans efterlämnade verk, Vägmärken - ”en sorts 'vitbok' rörande mina f
Dec 15, 2015 JJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a very difficult read for me. It was not long - and it was not conventionally challenging, but it was written of spiritual struggles that I think would be personally relatable to almost any reader.

Dag Hammarskjöld was a truly remarkable man - and his legacy here is a truly remarkable document. He was not a writer in the traditional sense, and there is no fiction that he left behind, nor was there any substantial non-fiction and little more than a handful of poems. Collected here a
Sep 23, 2010 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holy-moly
What a really contemplative, thought-provoking and revealing read, in small portions, so that you have time to ponder over and digest all that is packed into each poem or short reflection. It is amazing that Dag Hammarskjold had such a richly introspective life, so full of humility and careful self-examination, despite being the UN Secretary-General. His writing to himself/about himself is inspiringly honest, and the sequential nature of his entries shows his growth personally and spiritually, f ...more
Parchment Books
“To separate himself from the society of which he was born a member will lead the revolutionary, not to life but to death, unless, in his very revolt, he is driven by a love of what, seemingly, must be rejected, and therefore, at the profoundest level, remains faithful to that society.”

While it might be universally true that life blossoms in the margins, where society’s confines bend to the anarchic will of some less tameable forces, I think our culture is more than averagely biased towards the
Feb 17, 2008 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kat by: my grandfather
I chose this book as part of my own personal quest to understand the spiritual self. My grandfather recommended it along with Martin Buber and Viktor Frankl as authors worth considering. I have never regretted buying this book with hard-earned money as I continue to open it up and delve into a very personal account of Hammarskjold's struggles for that common ground of spiritual peace. This book was never meant for publication, but a letter was found with it giving permission for its publication ...more
Brian Melendez
Jul 04, 2013 Brian Melendez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hammarskjold was a Swedish diplomat who served as secretary-general of the United Nations at the height of the Cold War (and whose death in a plane crash in Africa in 1961 may not have been an accident). Throughout his life he struggled with balancing the tension between the active life and the contemplative life that always faces the political intellectual. This book is his private journal, in which he struggles with a deeply personal and private faith in the context of a vocation that called h ...more
Mara St.
Feb 06, 2014 Mara St. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book of all time. I've used my copy as a journal for nearly 40 years in which to write down quotations from other books and authors which are meaningful to me. Dag Hammarskjold, in speaking to himself, spoke to me in a way no other author ever has. This book is ageless. If you are on a spiritual journey, then this is the book for you, especially if you are only seeing through a glass darkly, as St. Paul as well wrote about.
Dec 01, 2011 Nicolás rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Markings un excelente testimonio de la búsqueda espiritual de uno de los hombres más grandes y místicos del siglo XX y responsable de otorgarle a la ONU una dignidad que lamentable e irrevocablemente nunca volverá a recuperar.
Dag Hammarskjöld empezó a escribir Markings desde los veinte años y siguió escribiendo hasta su trágica muerte a los 56 años cuando era secretario general de la ONU. Resulta entonces fascinante leer los pensamientos del hombre que se llegó a ganar el desprecio de Estados Un
Oct 26, 2008 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt touched by the heartfelt musings of Dag Hammarskjold as he chronicled the spiritual quest of his life. His writings are personal, often brief entries which he never intended to be read by others. The book's entries are sometimes poetry, sometimes prose, and occasionally enigmatic due to their intended audience being only Hammarskjold himself. I will probably pick this book up again whenever I need a "pick me up" or uplifting quote. Here is one of my favorites: "Like the bee, we distill po ...more
Feb 08, 2012 Bobbi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dag Hammerskjold was A Swedish economist, diplomat, and 2nd Secretary General of the United Nations (1951-1963). He was killed in an airplane crash on his way to peace negotiations, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. I remembered his name from my childhood, and picked this old book from a pile at my neighbor's giveaway. It is a collection of his "thoughts"--not a diary but quotes he felt reflected his outlook, original poetry, and insights into the nature of life and faith. Thes ...more
wes Goertzen
Mar 31, 2009 wes Goertzen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thought
this is an in progress reading (like 18months in progress). Its the journal of Dag. A devotional of his spirituality. interesting but as of yet not enlightening

Like a few books here. I started this (as you can see) unimpressed. I heard of the book through Yancy's "The Jesus I never knew" I think. I still don't quite get it why some call it a spiritual classic of the 20th century exactly but its very good. The dude was intelligent and driven.

"Too tired for company
You seek a solitude
You are too
Sep 13, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading about Dag Hammarskjold's life in Foster's Streams of Living Water, I picked up Markings hoping to gain insight into Hammarskjold's brilliant mind. Markings may be his journal published, but it is not really a look into the day-to-day life of a Christian UN Secretary General. In fact, it's completely devoid of any references to his life as a powerful public official. Instead, it's a collection of contemplative, philosophical musings on his life. Some of the statements feel like 'hal ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this long, long ago...high school or even earlier. I remember it was a totally different style of writing than I was used to. Many of the sentences & paragraphs were a mystery to me.

I want to re-read this as a mature adult.
Apr 18, 2011 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had this since 1965, yikes!! The hardcover originally cost $4.95 and my price was on sale for $2.94!! Read it then, again in 1973 and now. Each time I've marked the entries that struck me, some are the same and some have changed. It was translated by Leif Sjoberg and W.H. Auden, now I know who Auden is, hadn't a clue back then! More than just the prices are different. Either Hammarskjold was one incredible actor or his faith and selfless dedication to service are truly remarkable. But also ...more
Josh Gaudreau
A quick read by the way it's written. While there were a few gems in here, they were difficult to mine, and overall I found little to resonate with the author in it.
Petra Hermans
May 19, 2016 Petra Hermans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The World's Greatest
P.C.M. Hermans
Netherlands, Tilburg, May 19, 2016
Joe Rodeck
This is the gloomiest spiritual journal I've ever read. Dwells a lot on loneliness, death, and is even a little masochistic. Would especially recommend to a person going thru a Christian crisis. It relies much on Biblical quotes and Meister Eckhart quotes. It's also pretty redundant. If he says Faith = God plus Your Soul once more . . . .

That said, it goes quickly and contains some choice words of wisdom. A few extra points for being weirdly different and original.
Oct 10, 2014 Micheal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many good poems!
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Goodreads Librari...: ? Wrong cover for ISBN 0571191193 ? 2 27 Sep 18, 2011 04:53PM  
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Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat and author and was the second Secretary-General of the United Nations. He served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. Hammarskjöld remains the only U.N. Secretary-General to die in office.

U.S. President John F. Kennedy called Hammar
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“When you have reached the point where you no longer expect a response, you will at last be able to give in such a way that the other is able to receive, and be grateful. When Love has matured and, through a dissolution of the self into light, become a radiance, then shall the Lover be liberated from dependence upon the Beloved, and the Beloved also be made perfect by being liberated from the Lover.” 128 likes
“You wake from dreams of doom and--for a moment--you know: beyond all the noise and the gestures, the only real thing, love's calm unwavering flame in the half-light of an early dawn.” 115 likes
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