The Real Story of the United Nations in Peace and War

By Ian Williams, Illustrated by Krishna


176 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Paperback, Mobipocket, ebook: PDF, ebook: EPUB

Paperback, $21.95 (US $21.95) (CA $27.95)

Publication Date: November 2017

ISBN 9781682570890


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Drawing on personal experience with the UN, this combination of informative text and whimsical cartoons describes how the organization is supposed to work, how it actually behaves, and why there is a difference. UNtold lets readers in on the quirks and mysteries of international diplomacy and global decision-making. Delightfully irreverent, the message is that this vital body really can represent "We the peoples of the world." The book has something to offer everyone, from high school and college students involved in model UNs to secretaries of state and senior diplomats.


"A lively, informative, frank, and indispensable guide to all that's invaluable about the UN — and what needs to be fixed as well." —John Feffer, Director, Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy Studies; author, Splinterlands

"UNTold continues Ian's remarkable work in supporting this invaluable institution while questioning its delivery—and the hypocrisy of so many member states whose adherence and support for international law and human rights is so often compromised." —Bianca Jagger, Founder and Executive President, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation; Member of the Executive Director's Leadership Council, Amnesty International USA

"A book on the UN that is entertaining as well as fair and accurate – and tells you what you want to know? Only one person could do it: Ian Williams, who has been the UN's jovial gadfly for a quarter of a century. Thank goodness he has!" —Edward Mortimer, Speechwriter and Communications Director for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, 1998-2006

"The absolutely essential companion for anyone who wants to know everything about the UN, but who never thought to ask." —Mark Seddon, Speechwriter for former SG Ban Ki-moon; former UN Correspondent, Al Jazeera TV

"UNtold is a much needed exploration of the United Nations that neither mythologizes the world body nor condemns it out of hand. For those who want a critical assessment, with humor, of the UN, UNtold is a book they must read." —Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997); Chair, Nobel Women's Initiative

"UNtold is a delightfully digestible history about the most important international intergovernmental agency which is dedicated to maintaining global peace and order . . . . I trust that Williams' passionate new book will inspire more people to view the UN as more than a simply a tourist destination." —Cheryl Wills, author and anchor, NY1 News

Author Biography

Ian Williams is an associate professor at Bard Center for Globalization and International Affairs, he lectures on the UN and the Responsibility to Protect. Krishna is the pen-name of an illustrator who has won two Emmy awards as a writer for Sesame Street. His cartoons have appeared in such publications as The Washington Post, the Guardian, Playboy, and more.