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Hidden in Plain Sight: The Tragedy of Children's Rights from Ben Franklin to Lionel Tate
     

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Tragedy of Children's Rights from Ben Franklin to Lionel Tate

by Barbara Bennett Woodhouse
 

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ISBN-10: 0691146217

ISBN-13: 9780691146218

Pub. Date: 02/14/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Hidden in Plain Sight tells the tragic untold story of children's rights in America. It asks why the United States today, alone among nations, rejects the most universally embraced human-rights document in history, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This book is a call to arms for America to again be a leader in human rights, and to

Overview

Hidden in Plain Sight tells the tragic untold story of children's rights in America. It asks why the United States today, alone among nations, rejects the most universally embraced human-rights document in history, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This book is a call to arms for America to again be a leader in human rights, and to join the rest of the civilized world in recognizing that the thirst for justice is not for adults alone.

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse explores the meaning of children's rights throughout American history, interweaving the childhood stories of iconic figures such as Benjamin Franklin with those of children less known but no less courageous, like the heroic youngsters who marched for civil rights. How did America become a place where twelve-year-old Lionel Tate could be sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 1999 death of a young playmate? In answering questions like this, Woodhouse challenges those who misguidedly believe that America's children already have more rights than they need, or that children's rights pose a threat to parental autonomy or family values. She reveals why fundamental human rights and principles of dignity, equality, privacy, protection, and voice are essential to a child's journey into adulthood, and why understanding rights for children leads to a better understanding of human rights for all.

Compassionate, wise, and deeply moving, Hidden in Plain Sight will force an examination of our national resistance—and moral responsibility—to recognize children's rights.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691146218
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/14/2010
Series:
Public Square Series
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
Foreword by Ruth O'Brien xi
Preface xv

Introduction: Ain't I a Person? 1
Chapter 1: How to Think about Childhood 15
Chapter 2: How to Think about Children's Rights 29

Part 1: The Privacy Principle: Stories of Bondage and Belonging
Chapter 3: Boys in Slavery and Servitude: Frederick Douglass 51
Chapter 4: Girls at the Intersection of Age, Race, and Gender: Dred Scott's Daughters 75
Chapter 5: Growing Up in State Custody: "Tony" and "John G." 93

Part 2: The Agency Principle: Stories of Voice and Participation
Chapter 6: The Printer's Apprentice: Ben Franklin and Youth Speech 111
Chapter 7: Youth in the Civil Rights Movement: John Lewis and Sheyann Webb 133

Part 3: The Equality Principle: Stories of Equal Opportunity
Chapter 8: Old Maids and Little Women: Louisa Alcott and William Cather 159
Chapter 9: Breaking the Prison of Disability: Helen Keller and the Children of "Greenhaven" 180

Part 4: The Dignity Principle: Stories of Resistance and Resilience
Chapter 10: Hide and Survive: Anne Frank and "Liu" 213
Chapter 11: Children at Work: Newsboys, Entrepreneurs, and "Evelyn" 234

Part 5: The Protection Principle: Stories of Guilt and Innocence
Chapter 12: Telling the Scariest Secrets: Maya Angelou and "Jeannie" 259
Chapter 13: Age and the Idea of Innocence: "Amal" and Lionel Tate 279
CONCLUSION: The Future of Rights 304

Notes 315
Bibliography 337
Index 349

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