Wurst kicks off his planned series with a cautionary forecast that compellingly depicts the sorry state of civilization in a strife-torn world. He presents his wounded future-scape in broad but always vivid strokes, favoring brief, punchy Ira Levin–style descriptions over extensive character development. However, he compensates for this with a consistent sense of urgency. Rather than dwelling on his evildoers, the author emphasizes the heroes and heroines in the ecological front lines, still striving, against the odds, to save vanishing species and salvage the planet. One hopes that further installments live up to this starter, which ends on a cliffhanger.

- Kirkus Review

NON-FICTION

un association usa book cover 333 500px“The UN Association-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action”

//Excerpt from: The UN Association–USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action

By James Wurst

Chapter One: 

A Citizens’ Movement for Founding the United Nations, 1938-1943

Two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a radio address saying, “There is no such thing as security for any nation - or any individual - in a world ruled by the principles of gangsterism. There is no such thing as impregnable defense against powerful aggressors who sneak up in the dark and strike without warning.... We are going to win the war and we are going to win the peace that follows. And in the dark hours of this day - and through dark days that may be yet to come - we will know that the vast majority of the members of the human race are on our side.” The next day, FDR’s personal secretary received a letter from Clark Eichelberger, the Director of the League of Nations Association, offering the services of his organization and related groups to help the President construct “the organization of the world for peace and justice.”

This was not a spontaneous idea born from shock of the attack. It was the exact opposite. For more than 20 years, Eichelberger, the LNA, and others had carried the banner for “World Organization” as declared by the League of Nations. While the League itself continued to slip into irrelevance, the LNA continued to promote the ideals of the League, calling for revisions of the League of Nations Covenant to make the world body both more effective and more acceptable to the United States. By the time World War II was at its bloodiest in the early 1940s, there was finally a consensus among the allies that a new organization for international security – not simply a victor’s peace – was necessary well before the shooting stopped so when peace finally came, the world would have a new foundation to build upon.

The LNA was founded in 1919 immediately after the Paris Peace Treaty that set down the terms of victory, including the creation of the League of Nations. Despite congressional and popular rejection of the League, the LNA continued to campaign for international engagement. The LNA was the founding organization that became the American Association for the United Nations (AAUN) in 1945 and finally the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA) in 1964…

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… The single overarching obsession of the internationalists – starting with FDR himself – was to ensure the multiple failures of the League of Nations would not be repeated. In global terms, this meant creating an international organization that had real authority and was not created as a victors’ peace. In US domestic terms, this meant engaging as broad a spectrum of political (especially Congressional) and popular opinion. It had been less than twenty years between the Paris Peace Accords of 1919 and Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938, meaning that for most political and military leaders in the late 1930s, the Great War was living memory. Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Eichelberger were soldiers in the Great War; FDR was a junior government official at the time. In her memoirs, This I Remember, Eleanor Roosevelt recalled the United Nations Assembly in London in 1946 that brought up the ghosts of previous failures. “So many of the Europeans were older men who had made the effort with the League of Nations and were a little doubtful about a second international effort to keep the world at peace,” she wrote, “The loss of a generation makes itself felt acutely twenty to twenty-five years later, when many men who would have been leaders are just not there to lead.”

Among the internationalists, there was no debate that the failure of 1919 led directly to the next world war. And it certainly was not a question of hindsight. Paul Kennedy, in The Parliament of Man, reproduced a chilling political cartoon from 1919 entitled “Peace and the Cannon Fodder” from the [New York] Daily Herald. It depicts the Great War victors strolling out of the Paris Conference while cowering behind a column is a small, naked boy labeled “the soldier of 1940.” …

For more about the book and how to purchase it, please go to:

www.rienner.com/title/The_UN_Association_USA_A_Little_Known_History_of_Advocacy_and_Action

JOURNALISM

James Wurst is a journalist specializing in international affairs, and based at the United Nations since 1987. He has worked as a reporter for the National Journal Group, Inter Press Service (New York and Rome), The InterDependent, and as well as a contributor to the World Policy Journal, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Arms Control Today, A Global Agenda, and In These Times. He covered peacekeeping missions in Namibia and Mozambique and UN conferences in Geneva, Vienna, and Monterrey (Mexico). Read Mozambique, Peace and More...

ANALYST

Jim has worked as an analyst on arms control issues for the Middle Powers Initiative, the Global Security Institute, the Council on Economic Priorities, the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, the Interchurch Peace Council (IKV, the Netherlands), and the Arias Foundation for Peace and Progress (Costa Rica).

mpi fulfilling the npt book cover   mpi A6F Berlin book cover

More About Jim Wurst

jim wurstJim Wurst is a novelist, historian, journalist, and activist.

Currently, a consultant on Media and Outreach for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

BIOGRAPHY

  • Volunteer with the Community of the Peace People; Belfast, Northern Ireland (1977-78)
  • Editor of Disarmament Campaigns, a monthly magazine chronicling the international anti-nuclear movement; Antwerp, Belgium/the Hague, the Netherlands (1979-1984)
  • Consultant for Inter Press Service, news service focusing on the Global South; Rome, Italy (1986)

 Journalist and analyst based at the United Nations (1987-2016):

  • Editor, Disarmament Times (1987-1997)
  • Reported on UN peacekeeping operations in Namibia (1990) and Mozambique (1994, 1997)
  • Analyst, Council on Economic Priorities (1997-1999)
  • Program Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (1997-1999)
  • Correspondent, Inter Press Service UN Bureau (1999-2002)
  • UN Correspondent for two National Journal Group news wire services – UN Wire and the Global Security Newswire (2002-2005)
  • Program Director, Global Security Institute/Middle Powers Initiative (2005-2013)

Published The UN Association-USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action
(2016)

Published Three Degrees (2017)

Pending: Three Degrees (Book Two) (2019)

Jim Wurst in Adirondack Mountains, 1991

Adirondack Mountains, 1991

Jim Wurst at the United Nations, 2005

United Nations, 2005

Contact Jim

info@jimwurst.com