In This Review

Countenance Of Truth: The United Nations And The Waldheim Case
Countenance Of Truth: The United Nations And The Waldheim Case
By Shirley Hazzard
Viking, 1990, 179 pp

There are not many critical appraisals of the United Nations as seen from within its international secretariat. Novelist Shirley Hazzard worked at the U.N. for ten years. Unfortunately, the book is a diatribe so shrill that it loses credibility even if many of its observations may be fundamentally correct. If even half of what she says about the lack of integrity within the organization is valid, the rot within its upper echelons is deep and pervasive. Hazzard is especially critical of Waldheim, seeing him as "uninspired, officious and essentially trivial." Perhaps that is right, but in this book Dag Hammarskjold comes out only a little better.