An accessible guide to the principles and vision of Dag Hammarskjöld, a man John F. Kennedy called "the greatest statesman of our century."
Dag Hammarskjöld served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 until his tragic Dag Hammarskjöld served as secretary-general of the United Nations from 1953 until his tragic death in a suspicious plane crash in 1961. During those years he saw the fledgling international organization through numerous crises with skill that made him a star on the international stage. As readers of his now-classic diary, Markings, are aware, Hammarskjöld understood political leadership as an honor calling for resourcefulness, humility, moral clarity, and spiritual reflection.
In this accessible handbook, acclaimed biographer Roger Lipsey details the political and personal code by which Hammarskjöld lived and made critical decisions. What emerges is the portrait of a man who struck a remarkable balance between patience and action, empathy and reserve, policy and people. Structured through short sections on themes such as courage, facing facts, and negotiation, Politics and Conscience offers a vision of ethical leadership as relevant today as it was in Hammarskjöld’s time.
About the Author
Roger Lipsey is a biographer, art historian, editor, and translator. Among his many books is Hammarskjöld: A Life, hailed as the definitive biography of Dag Hammarskjöld. Lipsey speaks regularly at United Nations gatherings and under other auspices about Hammarskjöld’s life and legacy. He lives in the Hudson Valley.
“At a time when political leadership in many contexts seems to be assimilating itself to the worst and most corrosive bits of the entertainment industry, and when the whole ideal of public service is disregarded or despised, it matters that we know where to look for hope and challenge. Dag Hammarskjöld’s extraordinary example of a statesmanship that was at once astute, humble, courageous, patient, and risky is as necessary for us as water in the desert; and in this welcome book, Hammarskjöld’s finest modern biographer sets out with model clarity and passion just what we might learn from him, just what we might hold ourselves accountable to.”—Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College (Cambridge), Archbishop of Canterbury (ret.)
“In a series of memorable chapters, Lipsey charts the career and inner life of Hammarskjold on facing facts, the complicated process of negotiation, the healing power of time, perseverance, global interdependence, a world full of meaning, and the way of a statesman.”—Spirituality & Practice