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Dunant's Dream: War, Switzerland and the History of the Red Cross

Dunant's Dream: War, Switzerland and the History of the Red Cross - Caroline Moorehead

London: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1998, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper very slightly rubbed at the edges. Text complete, clean and tight. Previous owners' name to the verso last blank.

Includes: Black & white photographs; Chronological tables (1); Frontispiece portrait; Appendices (3);

From the cover: “The Red Cross was the inspiration — the dream — of Henri Dunant, a thirty-one-year-old Swiss businessman appalled by the butchery and lack of medical care for injured soldiers he came across, almost by chance, during the battle of Solferino in 1859. With Gustave Moynier, another Swiss, Dunant set out to create an international organization which would not only alter the fate of all those wounded in war, but which moved rapidly to establish international humanitarian law, begin refugee work, improve prison conditions and track down those parted by warfare. It is the most durable international organization of them all and to this day its International Committee remains the custodian of the Geneva Conventions, which it drafted, and which are still, with the. Hague Conventions, the most important international instruments of humanitarian law ever formulated.

Today the Red Cross has 137 national societies and 250 million members. Yet the International Committee which governs it remains an inscrutable institution, very much the same now as it was in the 1870s — private, independent, discreet, accountable — to no outside body and governed by twenty-five Swiss citizens. Caroline Moorehead is the first writer to be granted unparalleled access to the Red Cross archives in Geneva which have been closed for over a hundred years. Her book traces the origins of the Red Cross, its work during the wars of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, its response to natural disasters, including its most contentious and political interventions, and describes the men and women delegates who became the historians and monitors of war. She investigates the long-lasting secrecy and paranoia of the organization and the true history of the relationship between the International Committee and some of the most murderous political regimes of the twentieth century. She also examines the concept of neutrality — central to the Red Cross — and its practicality in the modern world.

This is the only authoritative book on its subject by a writer of real distinction and of wide experience in the field of human rights. It will have a significant impact on the way the Red Cross is viewed all over the world and on our ideas of what international organizations can achieve.”


Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. (xxxi) 780 pages.
£21.70
Dunant's Dream: War, Switzerland and the History of the Red Cross