John G. Stoessinger

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John G. Stoessinger
Born(1927-10-14)October 14, 1927
DiedNovember 20, 2017(2017-11-20) (aged 90)
Alma materHarvard University (Ph.D)
Scientific career
InstitutionsCity University of New York

John George Stoessinger (October 14, 1927 - November 20, 2017),[1][2] was an American author who wrote ten leading books on world politics, including The Might of Nations, which received the distinguished Bancroft Prize for History. Stoessinger was also the Acting Director for the Political Affairs Division at the United Nations.

Life and career[edit]

On the eve of World War II, Stoessinger fled from Nazi Austria to Czechoslovakia. His family was saved by a Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara, who issued three visas to transit Russia, allowing them to escape to Shanghai via Siberia and Kobe. Stoessinger was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, lecturing extensively throughout the world, and served as Distinguished Professor of Global Diplomacy at the University of San Diego.[3]

Stoessinger's work is notable for his individualistic analyses of war, contrasted with the systemic views more commonly studied by political scientists after the Second World War. An example of this is his work in Why Nations Go to War. In that book's first chapter, "The Iron Dice," Stoessinger offers an alternative explanation of the causes of World War I, one that includes human reactions and feelings.

John G. Stoessinger pardon.pdf

Stoessinger was an officer of the International Refugee Organization in the Far East[4] and later a professor at Hunter College, City University of New York.[5] From 1967 to 1974, he was acting director of the Political Affairs Division of the United Nations.[5]

In September 1976, Stoessinger pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to concealing fraud totaling at least $260,000 committed by Anne Lament, a former lover who used letters of recommendation from him which she addressed to overseas banks and governments.[5][6][7] Lament was convicted of fraud, and Stoessinger was convicted for failing to report it.[5] In 1977, Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. sentenced the professor to probation and ordered him to spend an average of two hours a week for 18 months teaching inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.[5] He subsequently received a full presidential pardon from President Ronald Reagan.[8]

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • The Refugee and the World Community (University of Minnesota Press, 1956)[4]
  • The Might of Nations: World Politics in Our Time (1962)
  • Financing the United Nations System (1964)
  • Power and Order: 6 Cases in World Politics (1964) (with Alan F. Westin)[9]
  • The United Nations and the Superpowers (1965)
  • Nations in Darkness: China, Russia, and America (1971) (Note: The sixth and most recent edition (1994) was retitled Nations at Dawn: China, Russia, and America)
  • Why Nations Go to War (1974, 11th ed. 2011)
  • Henry Kissinger: The Anguish of Power (1976)
  • Night Journey: A Story of Survival and Deliverance (Playboy Press, 1978)[10]
  • Crusaders and Pragmatists: Movers of Modern American Foreign Policy (1979)
  • From Holocaust to Harvard : a story of escape, forgiveness, and freedom (2014)


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  2. ^ Who's who in American Education (1966).
  3. ^ "John George Stoessinger". Dignity Memorial. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b George Ginsburgs, Book Review The Refugee and the World Community. By John George Stoessinger. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1956, American Journal of International Law, Vol. 52, Issue 3, July 1958, pp. 564-565.
  5. ^ a b c d e A Former U.N. Aide Sentenced to Teach U.S. Prison Inmates, New York Times (January 19, 1977).
  6. ^ "Love and Leverage". Time Magazine. December 6, 1976. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
  7. ^ . Ex‐U.N. Aide Tells Jury He Had a Love Affair With Woman Defendant, New York Times (November 23, 1976).
  8. ^ PARDONS GRANTED BY PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN (1981 - 1989), U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Pardon Attorney.
  9. ^ Power and Order: 6 Cases in World Politics (1964). Via Google Books.
  10. ^ NIGHT JOURNEY: A Story of Survival and Deliverance, Kirkus Reviews (September 1, 1978 review).

External links[edit]