A World Made New

by Mary Ann Glendon

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

"A World Made New", by Mary Ann Glendon, chronicles the events leading up to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) after the conclusion of World War II. The UDHR sought to respect the diversity of those it would protect and govern, while also emphasizing a shared humanity.

The book does not solely focus on Eleanor Roosevelt, but Glendon makes sure to flush out her contribution and give credit where it is due. FDR had died prior to the opening of the United Nations, and Eleanor went in his stead. She then proceeded to be commissioned to helping iron out the world's first ever international bill of rights. By being involved in this process, Eleanor Roosevelt was able to instill her husbands values into a document that would be adhered to by the rest of globe.

Glendon also analyzes the role the UDHR plays in forming an international unity and moral consciousness, and its impact on international politics and relationships. She makes sure to recognize that the implementation of the UDHR helped kick-start humans' rights movements.

The author inserts her own opinions about human rights and the human rights movement. She rebuts criticism that the values of the "human rights" movement are mostly reflective of western ideals, since nations all over the world contributed to the UDHR. Glendon emphasizes that the UDHR's primary aim is the flourishing of human life, that cannot be brought into fruition without proper education, healthcare, just government, and welfare.

Mary Ann Glendon is a Professor of Law at Harvard University, and teaches on subjects such as human rights, comparative law, and political theory. She was confirmed by the US Senate as an ambassador to the Holy See in 2007, and led a Vatican delegation to a U.N. conference. Glendon's research has been focused on European law, human rights, and constitutional law.

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