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A World Made New

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Mary Ann Glendon (View Bio)
Hardcover: Random House, 2001; Paperback: Random House, 2002.

A World Made New

"With access to both private and public sources, Glendon, a noted legal scholar, has written a fascinating account." — The New Yorker

"Vividly written and even-handed, A WORLD MADE NEW is an important, potentially galvanizing book, and in this frightful, ferocious time, marked by war and agony, it is urgent reading... [A] compelling story.... Rich in detail, A WORLD MADE NEW is never tedious.... Glendon's insistence on on the unity of the Universal Declaration represents an inspiring call for citizen action.... A WORLD MADE NEW resounds with urgency: The world cannot afford another century as cruel, dangerous, and deadly as the 20th century." — Blanche Weisen Cook, Los Angeles Times

"The story of how this document came to be written and adopted is fascinating from a philosophical perspective...[and i]t is equally fascinating from the perspective of diplomacy.... Indeed, Glendon's book reminds us that it is almost impossible to overestimate the greatness of Eleanor Roosevelt.... The declaration was a group effort, and Glendon shows us what a remarkable group they were.... Glendon deftly locates these players in the context of an increasingly fraught world.... Glendon mounts a persuasive defense of the declaration's 'universality'.... Glendon's fine book enhances our appreciation of the men and women who sought and found a way to enunciate universals." — Christian Science Monitor

"The remarkable group that wrote the declaration persisted in the face of all obstacles. Mary Ann Glendon's A WORLD MADE NEW: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives a fascinating and surprisingly personal account of their achievement." — New York Review of Books

"She had developed a formidable reputation for her independence of mind,' writes Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon in her new book A WORLD MADE NEW: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As it happens, Glendon could have just as easily been writing about herself. Glendon's independent-mindedness has been the subject of much discussion over the years.... Glendon's book both sheds light on historical events and illuminates her own approach to human-rights issues and diplomacy." — The Boston Phoenix

"Riveting, important.... Glendon, Learned Hand professor of Law at Harvard University tells this story with vivid detail and narrative drive." — Washington Post

"Glendon, a professor of law at Harvard University, has written a compelling, at times thrilling account.... While Glendon successfully traces the evolution of the document...she also presents a richly textured portrait of a woman driven to public service.... Glendon's work is a welcome addition to the realm of international law and to the governing body of literature on Eleanor Roosevelt's role in modern politics." — Publishers Weekly

"Glendon makes a convincing argument for her contention that 'The moral terrain of international relations was forever altered' in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly sanctioned a human rights declaration without one dissenting vote.... Glendon's fascinating account of the declaration's process, full of anecdotes and insights, captures the intimacy and excitement that gripped these extraordinary people even when they were working through the boredom of torturous and repetitive deliberations. Roosevelt's electrifying assemblage worked against the backdrop of growing tensions between the emerging superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union." — The Buffalo News

"A WORLD MADE NEW is the story of an important chapter in both the life of the United Nations and of Eleanor Roosevelt.... Mary Ann Glendon has undertaken to chart the passage of the declaration as Mrs. Roosevelt helped guide it through a UN maze that was mined with power politics, personal conflict, cultural differences, and long-held national animosities. To this daunting task Glendon brings an impressive array of talents. She has written prize-winning books on international law and cross-cultural issues, and she led the Vatican delegation to the Beijing Women's Rights Conference in 1985. She is a master of exposition and description, with a ready ear for telling an anecdote.... [She] has accomplished brilliantly her declared purpose." — Commonweal

"A riveting account of the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and of the underappreciated work of one remarkable woman — Eleanor Roosevelt — in representing the United States in this endeavor. It is a story newly relevant to the post-Cold War world." — Francis Fukuyama

"[Glendon's] book's chief merit is to vindicate the seriousness and sincerity of these founders, showing how they drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and secured its adoption by the United Nations in 1948.... Glendon gives drama and immediacy to a pivotal moment in international diplomacy....a fascinating and well-paced account....The Declaration's founders were fascinating figures and deserve the attention Glendon gives them in A WORLD MADE NEW." — The Weekly Standard

"More than perhaps any other document in our lifetime, the Universal Declaration of Human rights, championed by Eleanor Roosevelt and adopted by the United Nations in 1948, placed this set of questions on the global agenda.... In A WORLD MADE NEW, Mary Ann Glendon has supplied us with what should become the definitive account of the creation of the Universal Declaration.... Glendon, the Learned Hand professor of law at Harvard University, has made good use of her exclusive access to the unpublished papers of major participants in providing a detailed history of the genesis of the declaration. Glendon's book is clearly and accurately written. Anybody concerned with the question of human rights in today's world will need to read it and refer to it.... She illuminates the processes by which, in formulating the declaration, contributions were made by a wide range of cultures and beliefs. She argues effectively for the declaration's character and validity. Students will find her close reading of the declaration invaluable." — The New York Times Book Review

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