The History of Human Rights

Book Digest On the face of it, human rights is not exactly the most exciting topic, but in this historical survey (apparently the only comprehensive study of its kind), Micheline Ishay has reached back to the Mesopotamian code of Hammurabi and constructed a context with which to view the new, globalized world order and the so-called objective conditions for human rights—most importantly in view of Sept. 11, 2001. Some of the issues Ishay has organized her book around include: “Are human rights universal or culturally bound?” “Must human rights be sacrificed to the demands of national security?” and “Is globalization eroding or advancing human rights?” This book should be required reading for our two presidential candidates and their brain trusts.
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