It was an incredible destiny for a man who repeatedly announced that he was “without ambition.” Although he had left school aged fourteen, had no experience of foreign affairs and spoke no languages other than English, in 1929 Sean Lester became the Irish representative to the League of Nations in Geneva. He was soon recognized by his peers as an outspoken and able politician of integrity ready to defend the rules governing civilized society. As the League’s High Commissioner in the Free City of Danzig from 1934 to 1936, he tried to resist the Nazi juggernaut. In the early part of the Second World War, Lester took over as Secretary-General of the League of Nations from his disgraced predecessor and for four years fought to keep the institution alive. In his dairies he witnessed many dark chapters of European history in the 1930s and 1940s.