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Books and literature about Dag Hammarskjöld


Hammarskjöld, D. (1963)   Albert Bonniers Förlag

Dag Hammarskjöld himself describes Markings as “the only true ‘profile’ that can be drawn”. Markings consists of short diary-like notes, prose and haiku poems.

The texts are in the same order and form as Hammarskjöld himself left them. Notes and explanations can be found in the end of the book.

The dating begins in 1925 and the last entry was written a few weeks before his death. Markings is not a book that you can rush through, since each paragraph requires reflection.

Markings is a true classic. Since its discovery in 1963 it has been translated into a number of different languages.


Urquhart, B. (1972)   Alfred A. Knopf

Hammarskjold came out in 1972 and is a very comprehensive biography of Dag Hammarskjöld. In the nearly 600 pages the reader gets a detailed insight into Dag Hammarskjöld’s life during his years as UN Secretary-General and how the political events of that time developed.

The book is written by Brian Urquhart, diplomat and former co-worker of Hammarskjöld in the UN. Urquhart had complete access to Hammarskjöld’s private papers when the book was written.

Hammarskjold is a must have for all who seek in-depth knowledge about Dag Hammarskjöld.

Who Killed Hammarskjöld?

Williams, S. (2011)   Hurst & Company

Historian Susan Williams takes a fresh and unbiased look at what caused Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane to crash. In addition to looking at the theories presented by the official inquiries, she also discovers new leads. Quotes from the book:

[…] entitled ’ORDERS’, the following emerged: […] ’Hammarskjöld should be removed. […] I want his removal to be handled more efficiently than was Patrice [Lumumba].’ (p. 198)

’Pilots don’t react like that,’ said Peterzén […] ’If you get a problem with an aircraft, the first thing you do is to get up to a stabilized altitude. If you’re not already down, you certainly don’t choose to go down, not for any price.’ (p. 189)

Is it relevant to investigate Hammarskjöld’s death half a century later? – Yes, because the world has changed. Although many of the key players have died since, there are still many witnesses alive who were afraid or unable to speak up at the time. Those who did speak up were in many cases labelled as untrustworthy for preposterous reasons, such as the colour of their skin.

A String Untouched: Dag Hammarskjöld’s Life in Haiku and Photography

Falkman, K. (2006)   Red Moon Press

”The camera has taught me to see”, Dag Hammarskjöld once wrote. A String Untouched provides an insight into another side of Hammarskjöld’s life.

The author Kaj Falkman has selected a number of Hammarskjöld’s photographs and haiku poems and written comments and explanations for them. The haiku poems are found in Markings, but the black and white photographs taken by Hammarskjöld have rarely been published.

The beautiful photos combined with a clean layout make this book superb as a gift, even for somone who is not familiar with Dag Hammarskjöld.

”Too often our learning, our knowledge, and our mastery are too much concentrated on techniques and we forget about man himself.”