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

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  103 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews

"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, offer
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found this book by accident, but I'm glad I discovered it. While much of what is in the book is based on ideas I suspected in one way or another, it is fascinating to read the detailed historical elements behind those suspicions. Essentially Mazower explores the theory that the United Nations was created to preserve empire rather than to destroy it (this is why the veto power and the Security Council are set up in a way that favors particular states). The most fascinating element of this story ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: empire
The shift away from the protection of cultural minorities, and the rise of universal biology

[Through my ratings, reviews and edits I'm providing intellectual property and labor to Inc., listed on Nasdaq, which fully owns and in 2013 posted revenues for $74 billion and $274 million profits. Intellectual property and labor require compensation. Inc. is also requested to provide assurance that its employees and contractors' work conditions meet the highest hea
Mohamad Ballan
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The United Nations and the idea of internationalism have, in recent years, become subjects of serious debate. How tenable is the idea of an international peace-keeping body in an increasingly polarized and fragmented world? How relevant is the United Nations in an era in which genocide and other abuses are rampant? Has the United Nations become an instrument for the Security Council (US, UK, France, Russia, China) to exercise their influence in the world and maintain their hegemony? Why should u ...more
Sean Meriwether
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sean by: Julian Gustavo Hernandez
Manzower traces the origins of the UN Charter signed in 1945 and the ways in which it succeeds, and more often fails, to live up to our expectations for this international organization. Our hindsight view of the UN’s original mission might be altruistic, even Utopian, but as the motives of the primary players are revealed we get the unsanitized reality behind the UN’s first decades. The charter was a document of its time, drafted as an optimistic response to the devastating aftermath from a seco ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
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Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
By asking an obvious yet overlooked question--why the hell was Jan Smuts (seriously, Jan Smuts, Boer Kommando and British Imperial Frontman!) trusted to write the preamble to the UN Charter, Mazower builds a case for the intentions of UN founders to preserve the old empires, and how stunningly the 1960s and decolonization caused this to bite them in the ass and turn the organization into something rather different than originally planned.
Jason S
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A concise book with a great thesis: that the origins of the UN were really rooted in realism and power politics. Although the technique of using small biographies in each chapter is effective at providing support for the thesis, the book tends to wander at times because of this. Overall a good book that asks us to view the successes of the UN as large because of its origins instead of viewing these as limited because of its seemingly lofty origins.
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very thought provoking and made me reconsider the UN in a new light that had never occurred to me before. If definitely like to revisit it someday when I know more other perspectives.
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Mark Mazower is a historian and writer, specializing in modern Greece, twentieth-century Europe, and international history. His books include Salonica City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430–1950, winner of the Duff Cooper Prize; Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe, winner of the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History; and Governing the World: The History of an Idea. He ...more
More about Mark Mazower