Wednesday Mar 29, 2023

James Cotton, ‘UN 1.0’ Australia at the League of Nations

Just as the Second World War produced the United Nations, the First World War brought forth its immediate predecessor the League of Nations. Generally viewed as a failure hamstrung by the fact that America never joined and unable to forestall Axis aggression, the League nevertheless gave birth to many important international operations that were subsequently taken over by the UN and continue to this day. For Australia, membership of the League was an important coming of age moment, one in which we were represented separately from Britain on the world stage for one of the first times in our history. In this week’s episode of the Afternoon Light podcast, Robert Menzies Institute CEO Georgina Downer talks to James Cotton, author of The Australians at Geneva: Internationalist Diplomacy in the Interwar Years, about the UN’s ill-fated precursor.

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