This special issue of International Organization probes the relationship between the United States and multilateral organizations.
The editor of the collection, Lawrence S. Finkelstein, was a participant in the conference that formed the United Nations, was for many years Vice President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and had been since 1967 Acting Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Brandies University. Other contributors, all scholars and experts in the field, are: Vernon V. Aspaturian, Patricia W. Blair, Lincon P. Bloomfield, Inis L. Claude, Jr., Louis Henkin, David A. Kay, Peter B. Kenen, and Joseph S. Nye. A final article has been contributed by a well qualified authority who adopts the pseudonym "RFD" as a means of anonymity.
Finkelstein's own essay and that of Vermon Aspaturian maintain that the United States had a relatively easy role in peace keeping in the less sophisticated days of Soviet policy under Stalin. But the changing nature of Communist opposition, the rapid growth of the international constituency, and the misfortunes of U.S. intervention in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam make her relationships with fellow members of NATO, OAS, and the developing countries more tenuous.
"RFD" urges that, in the face of the limited effectiveness of peace-keeping organizations and pressures for unilateral action within the United States as within every country, our leaders should look to means of strengthening the U.N and act multilaterally in a hungry world.
Other studies in this book are Joseph Nye's examination of the issues of regional organization and an essay by David Kay about the literature on "United States Policy and International Organizations." The book is a thoughtful study of the problems facing foreign policy makers. It is recommended to anyone who wishes to have a better understanding of what constitutes international crises and the fundamental choices to be made.