Human Rights and Revolutions

ISBN 13: 9780742555143

Human Rights and Revolutions

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9780742555143: Human Rights and Revolutions

Now in a revised and updated edition with added original chapters, this acclaimed book provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the complex links between revolutionary struggles and human rights discourses and practices. Covering events as far removed from one another in time and space as the English Civil War, the Parisian upheavals of 1789, Latin American independence struggles, and protests in late twentieth-century China, the contributors explore the paradoxes of revolutionary and human rights projects.

The book convincingly shows the ways in which revolutions have both helped spur new advances in thinking about human rights and produced regimes that commit a range of abuses. Providing an unusually balanced analysis of the changes over time in conceptions of human rights in Western and non-Western contexts, this work offers a unique window into the history of the world during modern times and a fresh context for understanding today's pressing issues.

Contributions by: Florence Bernault, Mark Philip Bradley, Sumit Ganguly, Greg Grandin, James N. Green, Lynn Hunt, Yanni Kotsonis, Timothy McDaniel, Kristin Ross, Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, Alexander Woodside, Marilyn B. Young, David Zaret, and Michael Zuckert

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About the Author:

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is professor of history at the University of California, Irvine. Greg Grandin is professor of history at New York University. Lynn Hunt is Eugen Weber Professor of French History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Marilyn B. Young is professor of history at New York University.


This book is a necessary addition to a research collection, because it provides a comprehensive framework and well chosen set of cases to illustrate the state of the art of the major debates in the human rights field. (H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online)

The authors argue convincingly that without revolutions human rights would never have become a political reality, even though countries that never have had a revolution have done a better job of preserving freedom. Many of the essays are interrelated in that they illustrate one or another or both of these themes. On the whole, this is an interesting, worthwhile, and thought-provoking book. Social and political philosophers might gain a great deal from understanding the history of the concepts that they use and argue about. (Robert van Wyk Human Rights Revolution)

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