The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Origins, Drafting, and Intent

Overview

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1999

Born of a shared revulsion against the horrors of the Holocaust, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has become the single most important statement of international ethics. It was inspired by and reflects the full scope of President Franklin Roosevelt's famous four freedoms: "the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear." Written by a UN ...

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Overview

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1999

Born of a shared revulsion against the horrors of the Holocaust, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has become the single most important statement of international ethics. It was inspired by and reflects the full scope of President Franklin Roosevelt's famous four freedoms: "the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear." Written by a UN commission led by Eleanor Roosevelt and adopted in 1948, the Declaration has become the moral backbone of more than two hundred human rights instruments that are now a part of our world. The result of a truly international negotiating process, the document has been a source of hope and inspiration to thousands of groups and millions of oppressed individuals.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The definitive work on the drafting of the twentieth century's most important human rights document."—Philip Alston, European University Institute

"Well-written and abundantly documented, Morsink's book makes a uniquely important contribution to our understanding of this key document. Morsink carefully summarizes the arguments and counter arguments that were set forth, often heatedly and vigorously, by the various protagonists who participated in the discussions that led to the Universal Declaration in its present form."—Alan Gewirth, University of Chicago

"Revealing and useful."—Michael Ignatieff, New York Review of Books

"Definitive. Essential reading for everyone interested in human rights."—David P. Forsythe, Choice

"Morsink merges history and philosophy in a way that simultaneously roots the Universal Declaration in a particular time and place and reveals its enduring contemporary significance and value."—Jack Donnelly, Human Rights Quarterly

"No other books takes the reader behind the scenes into the drafting details. . . . [Morsink's] seminal account merits reading by all invested in the Declaration—activist, academic, official, or victim."—Jerome E. Shestack, American Journal of International Law

"A splendid volume . . . fused with political and philosophical insight into the fundamental concepts underlying the Declaration."—American Journal of International Law

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812217476
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
  • Pages: 396
  • Sales rank: 1,116,657
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Johannes Morsink is Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science at Drew University. He is the author of Aristotle on the Generation of Animals.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Declaration at Fifty
Ch. 1 The Drafting Process Explained 1
Ch. 2 World War II as Catalyst 36
Ch. 3 Colonies, Minorities, and Women's Rights 92
Ch. 4 Privacy and Different Kinds of Property 130
Ch. 5 The Socialist Shape of Work-Related Rights 157
Ch. 6 Social Security, Education, and Culture 191
Ch. 7 Duties and Communities 239
Ch. 8 Article 1, the Preamble, and the Enlightenment 281
App The Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a Guide to Discussions of Specific Topics and Articles 329
Notes 337
Acknowledgments 379
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