Defining Documents in World History: Human Rights, Vols. 1–2

Salem. (Defining Documents). Feb. 2023. 764p. ed. by Aaron John Gulyas. ISBN 9781637003961. $295. REF
Gulyas (history, Mott Community Coll.; Conspiracy Theories: The Roots, Themes and Propagation of Paranoid Political and Cultural Narratives) and 19 contributors examine the ways in which human rights have been abused, defined, interrogated, and protected since antiquity, through the lens of 52 primary documents. More an overview than an exhaustive study, the book provides a balanced and discerning perspective on the cultural, historical, philosophical, and political aspects of human rights development. The book is divided into five sections: “Race, Ethnicity, and Colonialism”; “Political and Civil Rights”; “International Efforts and the Work of the United Nations”; “Gender, Sexuality, and the Family”; and “Economic and Labor Rights.” Each includes an overview, a “defining moment,” author information, detailed, thoughtful analyses, essential themes, a bibliography, and additional-reading suggestions. The book’s excellent selections offer a wide range of agreements, excerpts, speeches, court case summaries, legislative acts, such as the Bill of Rights, and declarations such as the obscure gem Seoul Declaration on Safety and Health at Work. The volume concludes with an arrangement of the documents in chronological order, an annotated list of online resources, and an extended bibliography of helpful articles and books for further study.
VERDICT A terrific set of definitive human rights documents for both general readers and scholars.
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