A World Made New

by Mary Ann Glendon

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 397

A World Made New by Mary Ann Glendon is the story of how the modern human rights movement was born. It chronicles the events that led to the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Characters mentioned in the book include the following:


Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the leading philosophers of the eighteenth century, finds mention in the book as one of the voices for a compassionate State that looks after the needy. Rousseau's thoughts on political and civil rights influenced the French and Norwegian constitutions of the age.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the first American delegate at the United Nations. She is chiefly remembered for her role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Charles Malik

Charles Malik was the Lebanese ambassador to the United States in 1945. He played an important role in the adoption of the Declaration by the UN General Assembly. His efforts are particularly noteworthy given the tensions of the Cold War during those times. During his lifetime, Charles Malik earned 50 honorary degrees.

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was the president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. He was the prime mover behind the establishment of the League of Nations after World War I. World War II proved that the League had failed to meet its stated objective of ensuring world peace. The US Senate did not ratify the treaty that led to the formation of the League, and President Wilson remained bitter about this event.

John Foster Dulles

John Foster Dulles was a Republican who served as the Secretary of State during the Eisenhower government. President Roosevelt included him as one of the American representatives at the San Francisco Conference. He contributed to the drafting of the United Nations Charter.

Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin, who led Soviet Union during World War II and into the Cold War, was apprehensive about how the United Nations was shaping up and the manner in which the balance of power was tilting toward the Western countries. His interests lay in protecting Soviet spheres of influence from US-UK interference.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, was wary of both the US and Soviet intentions with respect to the character that the United Nations would acquire. Churchill did not want British imperialist interests to suffer. Thus, he was naturally antagonistic to the idea of human rights.

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