The overall tone of this book is defensive, and the author is clearly annoyed at repeated American charges of U.N. waste and mismanagement, as well as American "blackmail" in refusing to pay its dues arrears until serious internal reform occurs. Yet the book offers plenty of evidence that the various organizations of the U.N. system need dramatic overhaul. (Some facts I did not know: a permanent-five staff member in Geneva gets take-home pay of $313,200, but "only" $223,200 in New Delhi; the Trusteeship Council continues to exist despite the fact it has no trust territories.) The book offers relatively modest reform proposals and does not consider more radical forms of surgery that should be on the table such as the elimination of entire agencies.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.
More Reviews on Political and Legal From This Issue