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Inventing Human Rights: A History

Inventing Human Rights: A History

Lynn Hunt

ISBN: 978-0-393-33199-8

320 pages

Select type: Paperback

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“A tour de force.”—Gordon S. Wood, New York Times Book Review

How were human rights invented, and how does their tumultuous history influence their perception and our ability to protect them today? From Professor Lynn Hunt comes this extraordinary cultural and intellectual history, which traces the roots of human rights to the rejection of torture as a means for finding the truth. She demonstrates how ideas of human relationships portrayed in novels and art helped spread these new ideals far and wide. Hunt also shows the continued relevance of human rights in today’s world.

“This is a wonderful history of the emergence and development of the powerful idea of human rights, written by one of the leading historians of our time.”—Amartya Sen

“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.”—The New Yorker