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  • Published: 25 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9781611807363
  • Imprint: Shambhala
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $32.99

Politics and Conscience

Dag Hammarskjold on the Art of Ethical Leadership



An accessible guide to the principles and vision of Dag Hammarskjöld, a man John F. Kennedy called “the greatest statesman of our century.”

Dag Hammarskjöld served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 until his tragic death in a suspicious plane crash in 1961. During those years he saw the fledgling international organization through numerous crises with a skillfulness that drew much acclaim. As readers of his now-classic diary, Markings, are aware, Hammarskjöld saw political leadership as an honor calling for humility, moral examination, and spiritual reflection.

In this comprehensive handbook, acclaimed biographer Roger Lipsey details the moral code by which Hammarskjöld lived and made critical decisions. What emerges is a portrait of a man who struck a remarkable balance between patience and action, empathy and reserve, policy and people. Structured through short sections on themes such as values-based leadership, perseverance, and negotiation, Politics and Conscience offers a vision of ethical leadership as relevant today as it was in Hammarskjöld’s time. In our era of zero-sum politics, Lipsey shows politicians and voters alike how Hammarskjöld’s political principles and practical wisdom support the betterment of the common good. “It is difficult to hear the low voice of reason,” Hammarskjöld wrote, “or see the clear little light of decency, but, of course, both endure and both remain perfectly safe guides.”

  • Published: 25 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9781611807363
  • Imprint: Shambhala
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Roger Lipsey

Roger Lipsey holds a Ph.D. in the history of art from New York University. He is a director of the Society for Myth and Tradition, publisher of Parabola magazine, and he is also the author of AN ART OF OUR OWN: THE SPIRITUAL IN TWENTIETH CENTURY ART.

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