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Human Rights and the Uses of History

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  32 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
What are the origins of human rights? This question, rarely asked before the end of the Cold War, has in recent years become a major focus of historical and ideological strife. In this sequence of reflective and critical studies, Samuel Moyn engages with some of the leading interpreters of human rights, thinkers who have been creating a field from scratch without due ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Verso (first published January 1st 2014)
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Sara
Mar 11, 2015 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: empire
Human Rights and the Non-Uses of Logic

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Onessa
Mar 27, 2015 Onessa rated it liked it
Finally someone who has the same opinion about 'human rights' like I do and who has written it down. Though, the book itself is a bit incoherent and sometimes it's hard to understand why he starts talking about certain stuff... Afterwards I figured the chapters in this book are reactions on criticism people had on his last book 'The Last Utopia'. So I guess it would've been a much better read if I would've read The Last Utopia first (and perhaps also the criticism he received). But how could I ...more
Chelsea
~20% of this was too enmeshed in its field for me to get, but I'm still glad I read it. Human rights have always been a self-evident specter I feel vaguely guilty about, so it was interesting to see the idea of human rights treated like any other idea by looking at its history, implications, etc. I think Moyn's other book would have been a better one to read first, since the essays in this collection read like a collection of postscripts intended for his academic peers.
Maxy.kai
Jul 29, 2014 Maxy.kai rated it really liked it
Well worth a read. It's more of a collection of essays and reviews than one coherent book- though there is an overall thesis. But it does mean you can pick and choose chapters to read rather than reading the whole thing- so my recommendations- chapters one, five, six and seven. And the epilogue where Moyn outlines some ideas for the future of 'Human rights'.
Jon Morgan
Dec 29, 2015 Jon Morgan rated it liked it
A thoughtful and pointed, though far from comprehensive, dive into the critique of 'human rights'. The largest part of the book consists of refutations of various upholders of 'human rights talk' - although this covers a great deal of ground in this debate, the text does a good job of making the discussion accessible. I am interested in reading Moyn's Last Utopia for a more detailed discussion.
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Samuel Moyn is Professor of European History at Columbia University.
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