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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Holocaust

An Endangered Connection

Johannes Morsink argues that the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the human rights movement today are direct descendants of revulsion to the Holocaust and the desire to never let it happen again.

Much recent scholarship about human rights has severed this link between the Holocaust, the Universal Declaration, and contemporary human rights activism in favor of seeing the 1970s as the era of genesis. Morsink forcefully presents his case that the Universal Declaration was indeed a meaningful though underappreciated document for the human rights movement and that the declaration and its significance cannot be divorced from the Holocaust. He reexamines this linkage through the working papers of the commission that drafted the declaration as well as other primary sources.

This work seeks to reset scholarly understandings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the foundations of the contemporary human rights movement.

About the Author

Johannes Morsink is professor emeritus of political philosophy at Drew University and has written three other books on the Universal Declaration, most recently The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Challenge of Religion.

Review

"In re-affirming the importance of the Holocaust to the creation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Morsink demonstrates an exemplary and elegant use of archival sources that provides an essential inoculation against the fashionable speculations undermining universal human rights protections made by those enjoying them to the full." — Dan Plesch, Author of Human Rights After Hitler

"This is a compelling and original work that is certain to stimulate further debate about the history, nature and prospects for human rights. In a style that is fast-paced and argumentative, Morsink reinforces the important historical connections between the Holocaust and the UN Declaration, and insists on its enduring moral significance. A must read." — Linda Hogan, Professor of Ecumenics and author of Keeping Faith with Human Rights, Trinity College Dublin
Georgetown University Press

9781626166288 : the-universal-declaration-of-human-rights-and-the-holocaust-morsink
Hardback
344 Pages
$149.95 USD
9781626166295 : the-universal-declaration-of-human-rights-and-the-holocaust-morsink
Paperback / softback
January 19, 2019
$49.95 USD
9781626166301 : the-universal-declaration-of-human-rights-and-the-holocaust-morsink
Electronic book text
March 20, 2019
$49.95 USD

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