A selection of major publications about Dag Hammarskjöld, as well as a list of texts written by Hammarskjöld himself.

Texts by Dag Hammarskjöld

Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations. Volumes II to V

By: Andrew W. Cordier/Wilder Foote (eds)

New York and London: Columbia University Press 1972 to 1974

About: Four volumes in the series Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations compile statements, speeches, reports and other documents (including transcriptions of press conferences) Hammarskjöld made during his time in office, often with explanatory comments by the editors (both of whom had worked closely with Hammarskjöld). It is the authoritative source for the official writings of Hammarskjöld.



By: Dag Hammarskjöld

Originally London: Faber & Faber 1964 (re-published several times since then)

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.


A Reader’s Guide to Dag Hammarskjöld’s Waymarks

By: Bernhard Erling

Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 2011

This is a new translation of the Swedish original Vägmärken with comprehensive comments and explanations. It can be downloaded at the website of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.


Castle Hill

By: Dag Hammarskjöld

Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 2000

There was no tension between Hammarskjöld as a global citizen, his cosmopolitan perspectives and his love of the natural scenery of Sweden. For that reason, wherever he was, his mind would often leave the problems of the world, and make its way back to places, which he knew well from his childhood and adolescence. His essay on Uppsala, which was the last paper he wrote, is evidence of this. It was written in Swedish in New York for the Yearbook of the Swedish Tourism Association and translated into English only ten years later. It demonstrates how clearly he remembered every detail in his home town and testifies also to his poetic literary expression.

Selected major publications on Dag Hammarskjöld

Dag Hammarskjöld: Markings of his life

By: Henrik Berggren

Stockholm: Max Ström 2016

In this concise biography Dag Hammarskjöld, the individual and the statesman, emerges in an accessible and personable manner like never before. Together with almost one hundred photographs, many published for the first time, renowned Swedish biographer Henrik Berggren writes with vigor and empathy about Hammarskjöld’s life. The volume follows Hammarskjöld from his aristocratic childhood in Sweden to his youth in Uppsala castle, from his successful and rather unknown period as a Swedish civil servant to his illustrious time as head of the United Nations.



By: Brian Urquhart

New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1972

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


Courage of Faith. Dag Hammarskjöld’s Way in Quest of Negotiated Peace, Reconciliation and Meaning

By: Paul Nelson

Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang 2007

This theological PhD thesis is based on a thorough exploration of the vast amount of personal correspondence Hammarskjöld had with many Swedes in politics and culture of his time. The work presents the spiritual Hammarskjöld in a worldly context and provides access to many thoughts of the UN Secretary-General on global policy issues as archived in his letters in the Royal Library in Stockholm.


Political Ethics and the United Nations. Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary-General

By: Manuel Fröhlich

Abingdon and New York: Routledge 2008

This is the considerably shorter version of a PhD thesis originally published in German and among the hitherto most authoritative assessments and analyses of Hammarskjöld’s approach to his office and his role in diplomatic negotiations. It reconciles the political office bearer and his spiritual mind-set as disclosed in Markings and thereby for the first time goes beyond the separate treatments of the two sides, documenting why they are complementing each other in a fascinating personality.


Beyond Diplomacy. Perspectives on Dag Hammarskjöld from the papers of George Ivan Smith and Ezra Pound case

By: Manuel Fröhlich and Marie-Noëlle Little

Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 2008

These two essays by authors who have undertaken long-term research on Dag Hammarskjöld offer fascinating new insights into the second UN Secretary-General through two very different relationships he cultivated. In different ways this publication brings us much closer to the life and legacy of an international leader. It adds important pieces to the picture of a man who did not talk a lot about himself.


Can we save true dialogue in an Age of Mistrust? The encounter of Dag Hammarskjöld and Martin Buber

By: Lou Marin

Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 2010

Dag Hammarskjöld and Martin Buber met three times between 1958 and 1961. They conferred about the possibilities of true dialogue in the political and cultural setting of a United Nations confronted by the Cold War and an atmosphere of general mistrust. Both were in search of a common understanding of the political blockages of the time, while their perspectives on re-structuring society differed. This essay provides us with new insights on their interaction and thinking.


The Ethics of Dag Hammarskjöld

By: Hans Corell, Inge Lønning and Henning Melber

Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 2010

This booklet contains three speeches on the topic of Dag Hammarskjölds ethics, held during 2009. A lecture by Hans Corell presented on the occasion of a Commemorative Event on the 48th Anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld’s Death at the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation on 18 September; The first Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture in Voksenåsen presented by Inge Lønning on 2 October; and Henning Melber’s comments to this lecture.

The Knight and the Troubadour – Dag Hammarskjöld and Ezra Pound

By: Marie-Noëlle Little

Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 2011

This is a remarkable story of a poet and a diplomat, which reveals a previously unexplored facet of Hammarskjöld’s life and documents the extent of Ezra Pound’s influence among Swedish poets and writers. It marks a breakthrough in literary history and even re-writes history to some extent. For Dag Hammarskjöld, the diplomat, there were no boundaries between poetry and politics, and, with tragic consequences, the same was true for Ezra Pound, the poet.


Dag Hammarskjöld and the United Nations: Vision and Legacy – 50 Years Later

New Routes. A journal of peace research and action, vol. 16, no. 2, 2011.

This special issue has been in collaboration between the Life & Peace Institute and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. To its substantive contents contributed prominent authors, such as Sir Brian Urquhart, former UN Under-Secretary-General, Margot Wallström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Kiyo Akasaka, UN Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, Jan Eliasson, now Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Hans Corell, former UN Legal Counsel, as well as prominent scholars including Thomas G. Weiss and Peter Wallensteen.


Dag Hammarskjöld and Global Governance

By: Ove Bring and Henning Melber

Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 2011.

This booklet highlights some of the values and approaches Dag Hammarskjöld adopted in his norm-setting period in office. It comprises the two keynote addresses delivered in July 2011 to the seminar entitled ‘The UN and Regional Challenges: Africa 50 Years After Hammarskjöld’ and held at the University of Pretoria, and the opening remarks made at the seminar by Sweden’s ambassador to South Africa.


Dag Hammarskjöld Remembered – A Collection of Personal Memories

By: Mary-Lynn Henley and Henning Melber (eds)

Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 2011

This is a volume of memoirs written by people who knew Hammarskjöld. It has been compiled in collaboration with the Association of Former International Civil Servants in New York. These personal recollections of the Secretary-General, both in office as well as in private, display and share the intrinsic flavour of this unusual, highly intelligent, highly complex individual who believed deeply in the ability of people, especially their ability to affect the world in which they live.


Who Killed Hammarskjöld?

By: Susan Williams

London: Hurst 2011

This investigative book takes a fresh and unbiased look at what caused Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane to crash when approaching the airport of Ndola in the night of 17/18 September 1961, killing all 16 people on board. In addition to looking at the theories presented by the official inquiries, she also discovers new leads. The author, a scholar in African Studies, presents a disturbing picture over unresolved matters and a high degree of selective investigation and reporting. The book marked a turning point in resulting in a new private initiative to once again investigate the circumstances of the crash.

More information about Hammarskjöld’s death.


Hammarskjöld. A Life

By: Roger Lipsey

Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press 2013

This massive volume is a monumental reference to Hammarskjöld, his ethics, morality, spirituality and diplomacy, in a hitherto not in such depth available format. The author’s deep admiration for Hammarskjöld, as well as his knowledge of arts, religion and philosophy is felt throughout the engagement. This unique combination of the political and the personal is a major contribution to the current state of the art with regard to what we know. The publisher rightly so claims, that this is the ultimate biography, which provides vivid new insights into the life and mind of a truly great individual.


Peace Diplomacy, Global Justice and International Agency: Rethinking Human Security and Ethics in the Spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld

By: Carsten Stahn and Henning Melber (eds)

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2014

This tribute and critical review of Hammarskjöld’s values and legacy examines his approach towards international civil service, agency and value-based leadership, investigates his vision of internationalism and explores his achievements and failures as Secretary-General. It draws on specific conflict situations and strategies such as Suez and the Congo for lessons that can benefit contemporary conflict resolution and modern concepts such as human security and R2P. It also reflects on ways in which actors such as international courts, tribunals and the EU can benefit from Hammarskjöld’s principles and experiences in the fields of peace and security and international justice. The contributors to the more than twenty chapters include most of those already listed in the overview (Ove Bring, Hans Corell, Manuel Fröhlich, Paul Nelson, Roger Lipsey, Brian Urquhart, Peter Wallensteen) and many more distinguished scholars.


Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations and the Decolonisation of Africa

By: Henning Melber

London: Hurst 2019

In this publication Henning Melber explores the years of African decolonisation during which Dag Hammarskjöld was in office, investigating the scope and limits of his influence within the context of global governance. He paints a picture of a man with strong guiding principles, but limited room for manoeuvre, colliding with the essential interests of the big powers as the ‘wind of change’ blew over the African continent. His book is a critical contribution to the study of international politics and the role of the UN in the Cold War. It is also a tribute to the achievements of a cosmopolitan Swede.