America, Hitler and the UN
How the Allies won the War and Forged a Peace
On 1 January 1942, Churchill and Roosevelt issued a 'Declaration by United Nations' with 24 other states. This marked the beginning of the UN in a real and tangible form. Yet today many people have forgotten that the UN was forged in the midst of the confusion and complexity of wartime. How did the armies of the United Nations co-operate in the final years of World War II to contain – and ultimately reverse – Nazi expansionism? And when and for what purpose did the UN undertake to tackle the international economic and social challenges, not only of warfare but of a post-war world transformed beyond reconition? Drawing on previously unknown material from the UN archives, Dan Plesch analyses responses at all levels of society, from high level political elites to grass roots level. Arguing that the Allied defeat of Nazism should properly be called a United Nations victory, Dan Plesch has pieced together the full story of how the UN intervened in surprising ways at a pivotal time in European history. America, Hitler and the UN is an important addition to the literature of World War II and essential reading for anyone with an interest in military or diplomatic history or contemporary international relations.
Learn more about the Book
World War Two UN Newsreel Compilation
Interactive Video Timeline
View a full screen version of the interactive and video timeline.
The UN in World War II America
Click the map above for the full screen, interactive Google Map showing the locations of conferences, local newspaper articles and college activity on the UN.
The UN in Wartime London
Click the map above for the full screen, interactive Google Map showing the UN in wartime London.
A Global New Deal: Lessons from FDR's UN Projects
Listen to a talk given by Dan Plesch, held at Chatham House on June 15th 2009 and chaired by Dr. William Barnard of Democrats Abroad. Dan Plesch discussed the relevance of the UN's creation for the twenty first century debate on a 'Global New Deal' and outlined new research in Chatham House's archives which has vital lessons for contemporary politics. The event marked UN day – 14 June 1942.
Audio courtesty of OpenAir.fm
Dan Plesch on the Today Programme
Listen to Dan Plesch discussing the founding of the United Nations on Radio 4's Today Programme, here.
Audio courtesty of the BBC.
You can find out more about Dan Plesch's research on the United Nations, and links to other content, on the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy website.