Bringing Human Rights Home
A History of Human Rights in the United States
Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
424 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm
- ISBN: 9780812220797
- Published: December 2009
Throughout its history, America's policies have alternatively embraced human rights, regarded them with ambivalence, or rejected them out of hand. The essays in Bringing Human Rights Home: A History of Human Rights in the United States put these shifting political winds into a larger historical perspective, from the country's very beginnings to the present day.
The contributing writers examine the global influences on early American attitudes toward human rights and, reviewing the twentieth century, note the high-water mark of human rights acceptance during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency. They examine the domestic tensions between civil and political rights on the one hand, and economic, social, and cultural rights on the other. Taking the long view, many of the contributors emphasize the role played by social movements and grassroots activists in pressing a human rights agenda from the bottom up.
The essays examine the centrality of human rights in the early and mid-twentieth-century civil rights movement, the breadth of subnational human rights activism in the face of federal inaction on a range of human rights issues, and the ways both post-9/11 developments and government responses to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina spurred grassroots activism in the United States. Several essays explore in depth the emergence of new advocacy strategies, both in the context of litigating for civil and political rights and through the lens of particular economic rights sectors, such as labor. Though the setbacks for human rights have been many, Bringing Human Rights Home demonstrates the strength and resilience of the U.S. human rights movement and offers hope for its future.
—Cynthia Soohoo, Martha F. Davis, and Catherine Albisa
PART I: A HISTORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE UNITED STATES
Introduction to Part I
—Martha F. Davis
Chapter 1. A Human Rights Lens on U.S. History: Human Rights at Home and Human Rights Abroad
—Paul Gordon Lauren
Chapter 2. FDR's Four Freedoms and Wartime Transformations in America's Discourse of Rights
Chapter 3. A "Hollow Mockery": African Americans, White Supremacy, and the Development of Human Rights in the United States
Chapter 4. "New" Human Rights? U.S. Ambivalence Toward the International Economic and Social Rights Framework
PART II: FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO HUMAN RIGHTS
Introduction to Part II
Chapter 5. Against American Supremacy: Rebuilding Human Rights Culture in the United States
—Dorothy Q. Thomas
Chapter 6. Economic and Social Rights in the United States: Six Rights, One Promise
Chapter 7. Human Rights and the Transformation of the "Civil Rights" and "Civil Liberties" Lawyer
Chapter 8. "Going Global": Appeals to International and Regional Human Rights Bodies
Chapter 9. Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: States, Municipalities, and International Human Rights
—Martha F. Davis
Chapter 10. The Impact of September 11 and the Struggle Against Terrorism on the U.S. Domestic Human Rights Movement
Chapter 11. Bush Administration Noncompliance with the Prohibition on Torture and Cruel and Degrading Treatment
Chapter 12. Trade Unions and Human Rights
About the Editors and Contributors