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The Dumbarton Oaks Conversations and the United Nations, 1944–1994
Angeliki E. Laiou, Ernest R. May

In 1944, as the end of World War II approached, an important series of talks were held to plan the formation of postwar international institutions. The site for the conversations was Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., a research institute administered by Harvard University. The meetings, which included debates on a variety of issues, were a first step toward the creation of the United Nations, whose establishment followed some months after the end of the conversations.

In 1994, the “Dumbarton Oaks Conference, 1944–1994” brought together scholars and policymakers who had studied international organizations or had played important roles in them. A quarter century later, the world has evolved in ways that would have been unimaginable to many attendees of either the original conversations or the conference. This reissue of the conference proceedings, ahead of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations in the fall of 2020, may assist readers who wish to familiarize themselves with the conditions that motivated the meetings in 1944.

A catalogue of the exhibition is also available for download and online.