The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was the first international organization to be established after the Second World War, and Canada played a key role in its formation. Formal studies of UNRRA, however, have tended to focus on inter-governmental political and economic relationships and their consequences for shaping the post-war international environment. Armies of Peace is the first comprehensive investigation of Canadians' influence on the establishment and operation of this unique organization. This volume challenges the hierarchical and policy-oriented approach to the study of international organizations and offers a more nuanced understanding of Canada's international involvement. By recounting the stories of hundreds of Canadians who served at every level of the organization and in every country where UNRRA established missions, Susan Armstrong-Reid and David Murray highlight the wider contributions that the nation made.
Giving voice to these Canadians' stories also provides a more complete understanding of Canada's role in post-war healing and foreshadows the challenges that Canadians faced in implementing international aid and development initiatives within developing countries during the Cold War. Featuring previously untapped primary sources such as private papers, diaries, and letters, and utilizing a cross-disciplinary approach, Armies of Peace is an invaluable addition to the study of international organizations, Canadian social history, and the history of nursing.
Susan Armstrong-Reid is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph. She is co-author of Armies of Peace: Canada and the UNRRA Years. David Murray is a University Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Guelph.