A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In This Review

A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By Mary Ann Glendon
Random House, 2001
333 pp. $25.95
Purchase

An inspiring history of how the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights launched the modern human rights movement. The story centers on Eleanor Roosevelt, who led a small group of diplomats and legal experts in hammering out the world's first international bill of rights. Inside the U.N. Human Rights Commission, Roosevelt and her colleagues struggled with philosophical disputes, personal quirks, and national rivalries. Outside, the world also complicated matters as the major powers squabbled. Meanwhile, the Allied leaders were largely unconcerned with the commission and focused instead on ways to prevent war through territorial guarantees and collective security. The declaration got its necessary push from religious and peace groups, legal activists, and political figures from smaller countries, all convinced that the disregard for freedom and social justice had caused the barbarity of World War II. Finding a universal voice for these ideas -- articulated in a way that could not be dismissed as simply "Western" -- was perhaps the commission's most important achievement. Few books reveal so evocatively the spirit of that time.

Enjoy more high quality articles like this one.

Become a Subscriber

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles posted daily online and almost a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now

More Reviews on Political and Legal From This Issue

Browse All Capsule Reviews

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue