Inventing Human Rights

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Inventing Human Rights: A History
“Inventing Human Rights: A History” (Lynn Hunt)

Inventing Human Rights: Briefly Noted: The New Yorker
In 1748, Montesquieu, in an attack on the then common use of torture, wrote, “I was going to say that it might be suitable for despotic government…but I hear the voice of nature crying out against me.” His wavering, Hunt writes, illustrates the revolutionary quality of the years leading to the Declarations of Independence and of the Rights of Man, when something inconceivable—an innate set of social and political rights—suddenly became “self-evident.” Such claims, once made, had a “tendency to cascade,” encompassing more and more groups, even as they engendered what she calls “evil twins”: ideologies that dehumanized those they disenfranchised. Hunt’s survey is fast-paced, provocative, and ultimately optimistic. Declarations, she writes, are not empty words but transformative; they make us want to become the people they claim we are.

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I have just read a NY Times alert. THe bill on immigration, talk about selective immigration, has passed in the Senate.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 17, 2007 1:03 PM.

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