An informed, professional, realistic examination of the United Nations in action over its 40-year existence. The author, a professor of law who served the organization at one time, looks primarily at what were supposed to be its main functions: resolving disputes and keeping the peace. The record is disappointing. American attitudes and reactions have been overblown, from exaggerated hopes in the beginning to exaggerated disillusionment now. The book shows admirably how the various organs of the U.N. have functioned, or failed to function, and is especially good on how the institution of the secretary general has developed in the light of changing conditions and the proclivities of the successive incumbents.