For the Good of Humanity
Ludwik Rajchman, Medical Statesman
In this biography of Ludwik Rajchman, Marta A. Balinska paints a portrait of a true hero of our times. He was born in Poland in 1881 and was an exponent of humanitarian intervention and defender of colonized people, as adept in secret diplomacy as in organizing vast anti-epidemic campaigns. He inspired the creation of WHO and the foundation of UNICEF, of which he became the first chairman. Progressive but opposed to all dogmas, he was forced by McCarthyism to flee the U.S. and soon became an object of suspicion in the Soviet bloc, finding himself estranged from his beloved Poland.
As the story of this remarkable life unfolds, the reader is given a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the major events that shaped the twentieth century. Using family archives and documentary sources from a dozen countries, the author brilliantly reconstructs the career of a man who was not only the first médecin sans frontiere but also an intellectual with an exceptional sense of the universal.
"Balinska's biography is peopled with a veritable pantheon of the first generation of international civil servants - from the Secretary-General of the League, Sir Eric Drummond, to Nansen, Monnet, and, as regards Britain, such notable internationalists as Philip Noel Baker, Lord Cecil, and Arthur Salter - who all worked closely with Rajchman and praised him highly. Monnet ascribed to him a rare 'sense of the universal', and the Irish nutritionist W.R. Aykroyd (a close colleague of Rajchman) observed that almost always he 'had the good of humanity at heart'. Balinska's study profusely demonstrates the truth of these lofty estimations, as well as of her subject's own profound conviction that co-operation can transcend personal, political, and national ambitions."—Medicine, Conflict and Survival
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