After the dubious justice of the Treaty of Versailles and the turmoil of the interwar years, the League of Nations is mainly remembered as a body that failed to create mechanisms that might have forestalled the horrors of Nazism, fascism and the Second World War. It has understandably been overshadowed by the United Nations, that larger, more globally representative body which grew from the League, and which was founded on more unequivocally noble principles in the aftermath of a clear-cut victory of good over evil. But as James Cotton relates in this illuminating account, a surprising number of Australians lent their talents and enthusiasm to this internationalist project, and Australian interests were prominently represented. This deeply researched and carefully realised story will recast understandings of both the League itself and the place within it of prominent interwar Australian internationalists.
James Cotton (PhD, London School of Economics) is Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of New South Wales, ADFA, Canberra, and the author of The Australian School of International Relations (2013) and Australia and the United Nations (2012), among numerous other works. He has had academic appointments in the US, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as Australia, is a past editor of The Australian Journal of International Affairs, and was a foundation member (1997-2003) of the Foreign Minister's Advisory Council, convened by the Foreign Minister of Australia.