Dag Hammarskjold and the Congo Crisis are both fascinating subjects, joined together by the United Nations connection. Either would merit a book in itself by Rajeshwar Dayal who had an intimate knowledge of both. But in choosing to write on his ‘mission for Hammarskjold’, Dayal hardly notices the UN Secretary-General outside his Congo role and does not discuss the Congo crisis in its fullness, limiting himself to the period in which this mission was undertaken. The result is fragmentary, being neither a portrait of Hammarskjold nor an account of the trauma attending the birth of an independent Congo, today’s Zaire, in which the UN played a unique role. Nor again is the book an autobiography of Dayal who, as India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, High Commissioner to Pakistan, Foreign Secretary and much else, is a very seasoned diplomat with a good deal to say.
October 1976, volume 1, No 4