Book Review: Capital of the World by Charlene Mires

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Cap­i­tal of the World: The Race to  Host the United Nations by Char­lene Mires is a his­tory book doc­u­ment­ing the search for the UN’s home. Even though the book might be short in pages, it packs a lot of infor­ma­tion in between.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book -to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post.

  • 328 pages
  • Pub­lisher: NYU Press
  • Lan­guage: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814707947

Book Review Capital of the World by Charlene Mires

My rat­ing for Cap­i­tal of the World4

Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format*

Cap­i­tal of the World by Char­lene Mires is dense, but fun book. It is no won­der the UN can’t make any deci­sions, if the way they decided to chose a “home” would have been any indi­ca­tion (com­mit­tees for com­mit­tees result in their resolve to make res­o­lu­tions) they might would have rethought the way they do business.

How­ever, the book is not a con­dem­na­tion of the way UN does or does not make deci­sions, but a look a the pro­mo­tional aspect of cre­at­ing the “Cap­i­tal of the World”. Orig­i­nally, instead of a build­ing, every­one thought that the UN will reside in a city and many peo­ple thought that their town would sim­ply be per­fect for this notion (of course tourist dol­lars would help off­set the costs).

There were many towns vying for the honor, from the Black Hills of South Dakota to Chicago, from San Fran­cisco to Nia­gara Falls, NY. Inter­est­ingly enough, New York City abstained from the race, think­ing that they were the nat­ural and obvi­ous choice and hence didn’t need to com­pete with the rest.

Some­where towards the mid­dle of the book I had to put it down for a bit, I love my his­tory books and the per­sonal sto­ries in them, but this book had so many details com­ing at me that I just needed a break. Ms. Mires was telling a good story but then it seemed to stop only to pick up a few chap­ters later.

I never real­ized that there was such a force­ful cam­paign to host the UN or that at first a whole city was planned, it is a fas­ci­nat­ing part of Amer­i­can his­tory. The com­plex way in which the UN com­mit­tee decided on a place and how they finally set­tled on NYC is a hys­ter­i­cal story for the ages.

Cap­i­tal on the World is an enjoy­able and infor­ma­tive read. It gives the reader a new per­spec­tive of Amer­ica, the coun­try that wel­comed diplo­macy and wasn’t afraid to engage in dia­log after World War II.

 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format*


  • Give­away ends: March 21, 2013

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Con­grat­u­la­tions: aimala127@

TLC Book Tour for Cap­i­tal of the World by Char­lene Mires :

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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