Item description for For the Good of Humanity by Marta A. Balinska...
Born in Poland in 1881, Ludwik Rajchman was an exponent of humanitarian intervention and a defender of colonized people, as adept in secret diplomacy as in organizing vast anti-epidemic campaigns. A true hero of our times, he inspired the creation of WHO and UNICEF, of which he was the first chairman. Progressive, but opposed to all dogmas, he was forced by McCarthyism to flee the United States and soon became an object of suspicion in the Soviet bloc, finding himself estranged from his beloved Poland.
As the story of this remarkable life unfolds, the author - who is the great-granddaughter of Rajchman - provides behind-the-scenes glimpses of the major events that shaped the twentieth century. Using family archives and documentary sources, she brilliantly recreates the career of a man who was not only the first medecin sans frontieres, but also an intellectual with an exceptional sense of the universal.
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Studio: Central European University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.29" Width: 6.45" Height: 0.95" Weight: 1.45 lbs.
Release Date Apr 15, 1998
Publisher Central European University Press
ISBN 9639116173 ISBN13 9789639116177
Availability 124 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 01:45.
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Reviews - What do customers think about For the Good of Humanity?
The quintessential humanitarian Feb 4, 2003
This biography of Dr. Ludwik Rajchman is a treasure trove, not only in its capacity as a humane biography of a great humanitarian, but also as an important source of knowledge for how it all began, or at least much of it in terms of humanitarian action and aid in modern times. Dr. Rajchman was not only a prominent name among early medical specialists for social and international medicine, but he can be regarded as the founder and foremost practitioner of what today amounts to two of the major social development organizations within the United Nations system: WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). Not that Dr. Rajchman would not be seen as controversial by some of his contemporaries, both before and in the unruly period between both world wars, as well as after the Second World War, including some of the heads of the League of Nations, and - inevitably - the minions of Darth Vader Joe McCarthy in the United States of the 1950s. The description of this and so many other intricate facts, currents and crosscurrents of international politics and policies add to the flavour of this intriguing biography. For this reviewer, the book, "For the Good of Humanity", at that sheds a fascinating light on the work of the League of Nations, much maligned as an organization that would not achieve what it was meant to do by its founding fathers, notably President Woodrow Wilson, and that was seen breathing its last with the German invasion of Poland in 1939. Or so it seemed. Even with the best of intentions and powers, no international organization in the decades, dominated by the likes of Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, probably would have been able to sustain much efficiency or effectiveness for a duration. That notwithstanding, it should not be forgotten that the basic ideas and concepts were carried over from the League of Nations to the United Nations. That applies to all aspects of the UN system's aims and work, both the peace-keeping function and the subsequent role in international development. In terms of the latter, Dr. Rajchman's work against so many odds, as head of the Health Section of the League of Nations, provided the avenue towards the setting up of the World Health Organization, and its twin agency, UNICEF. Dr. Rajchman was not alone in this quest for shaping a better world for humanity, a fact, which clearly is recognized in Marta Balinska's writing. The index shows where in the text you can find both positive and negative forces of renown or repression as for personalities, each contributing in their way to the synthesis of nations and their fates, as we see them today. This book deserves all publicity it can get, despite its modest cover, which does not quite convey the richness and, in fact, thrill of reading about an Old World gentleman, helping to outline the road towards a new world, for the better or the worse...