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

James Wurst
The UN Association–USA: A Little Known History of Advocacy and Action
ISBN: 978-1-62637-547-5
ISBN: 978-1-62637-548-2
ISBN: 978-1-62637-587-1
2016/361 pages/LC: 2016016379
"Provides a rare glimpse into the internal workings of the UN Association of the United States from its formative years to its merger with the UN Foundation in 2010."—Choice

"This volume not only serves as an authoritative history of an important organization, but also provides important insights into network-based organizing and governance as it is evolving today."—Robert Orr, UN under-secretary-general and Dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy

"A fascinating look at the saga of a unique organization that, against great odds, has kept alive the ideals of the UN in the United States for more than seven decades."—Stephen Schlesinger, author of Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations


Little known outside a small community of insiders, the United Nations Association–USA has had an impact on both the UN and the US-UN relationship far greater than its size would suggest. James Wurst explores that impact as he traces the sometimes tortuous history of the UNA-USA from its earliest days to the present.

Beginning with efforts in support of the creation of the United Nations—and covering the decades-long campaign to promote the UN to the US public, the role of Eleanor Roosevelt, the decline of popular support, Track II diplomacy with Iran and the Soviet Union, and much more—Wurst draws on a wealth of archival material and personal interviews to tell an honest, and long overdue, story of the UNA-USA's persistence, problems, and achievements.


James Wurst has been reporting on international affairs, and especially the United Nations, since 1977.


  • Foreword—Andrea Bartoli.
  • Foreword—A. Edward Elmendorf.
  • Preface—James Wurst.
  • A Citizens' Movement for Founding the United Nations, 1938-1943.
  • "We the Peoples," 1944-1946.
  • The American Association for the United Nations (AAUN), 1947-1964.
  • AAUN Internationalism and Domestic Political Disputes, 1947-1964.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Stumps for the AAUN and the United Nations, 1953-1962—D. Leimbach.
  • Citizen Advocacy: The UNA-USA and the US Government Since the 1970s.
  • The Decline of Popular Support for the UN: UNA-USA in the 1970s.
  • The UNA-USA Parallel Studies Program and Track II Talks, 1968-1992.
  • Post–Cold War Openings: The UNA-USA Multilateral Studies, 1984-2000.
  • Track II Diplomacy: The US-Iran Dialogue 2001-2009.
  • The UNA in the New Millennium, 1989-2010.
  • Leadership Dynamics Across the Decades.
  • UNA's National Constituency: Members and Allies—J. Laurenti, with T. Calabia.
  • Advocating for Human Rights and International Justice.
  • Engaging the Private Sector.
  • Reaching Out: The UNA-USA and Education—D. Garr, with T. Calabia.
  • Vista and The InterDependent and Other Prominent Publications of the UNA-USA:—D. Leimbach.
  • UNA, the UN Foundation, and the Ways Ahead.