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Human Rights in World History Paperback – Jun 11 2012


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Amazon.com: 1 review
Using this for textbook Oct. 1 2012
By M. Izady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a nice account of the development of the topic of human rights in the West and can well serve as a suitable introductory textbook on history of human rights. And this without being encumbered by 8 pounds of needless and useless pages of splitting hair on this or that issue. But certainly this is not an ideal textbook. In fact, I have not found an ideal book on the subject to use for my college classes on this newish topic. My wife as usual, tells me "If you don't like it, then write your own buster!" Very apt observation which shuts me up nice and good, and prevents me from being over critical of the works of others who ACTUALLY finished and published theirs.

However, that does not mean I cannot be a bit critical. Somehow it seems this work was rushed through some kind of deadline as it is rife with typos, more so in some chapters than others, as well as incomprehensible sentences that pop in as frequently. It also rambles unnecessarily, wasting time and attention on total irrelevancies or going on tangent. A good editor--not the current airheads who are too busy answering phones than editing a written academic work--could have turn this otherwise informative work into a much much better book by weeding out the rambles, catch the typos and rephrase some sentences.

There are also historical inaccuracies and the general lack of knowledge by the author of anything non-Western: philosophers, politicians, political and social evolution of the rights of man in those other 90% of the world society, etc etc. He is not alone. This malady is pervasive in the West (and in the East, where they know even less about us as we know about them!) Which means, the book should have been retitled BY THE EDITOR(s) "Human Rights in Western History" which would have been accurate while keeping the book as valuable all the same. Most of us really need just the history of human rights in the West any way, even if we pretend to care about the rest of world (of which we know nothing substantive and beyond the maddeningly superficial headlines).

I do recommend this book as a textbook, however. It is a good work. No need looking for anything better, because there are none. Remember Voltaire: "Better is the enemy of good."


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