"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." These stirring words from the Declaration of Independence are a powerful statement of the importance of human rights in Western civilization. But many of the freedoms we enjoy today were not so "self-evident" to lawmakers throughout much of our history.
Instead, many of those freedoms - from racial segregation, from enslavement, from persecution for one's religion or ethnicity - were the result of long and fierce struggles that took place in courtrooms and meeting rooms, in churches and on battlefields, in classrooms and on streets, at home and abroad, often over many years.
Now an award-winning author and honored teacher and scholar tells you this inspirational and profound story in a series of 24 riveting, often moving lectures designed to strengthen your appreciation of both your rights and the long struggles to obtain them.
You'll follow the battle for human rights from the initial visions of history's greatest philosophers, religious leaders, and political thinkers to those who fought to make their visions of equality a reality, including Lucretia Mott, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela. Each lecture gives you an overview of historical movements like the struggle for women's suffrage, the emancipation of serfs and slaves, and the development of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses
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"Excellent lecture series on Human Rights"
Well structured, presented, informative and engaging lecture series on human rights and the "rights of man". Presented by Paul Gordon Laurent, a respected writer on the history of human rights, it charts their evolution through a series of carefully chosen chapters exploring the ideas, people, and contexts in which the struggles for human rights gained momentum. This valuable text introduces listeners to the back-stories behind the need for protecting human rights as a counter to the horrors of which man is capable.
The lectures are surprisingly easy to listen to and Lauren is generous with insightful comments about context, the actors and organisations involved, and the importance and limitations of structures, documents and ideas. Every now and again he emphasises a point, drawing links to other chapters and events, or encouraging the listener to ponder his words, for a moment. He draws us into the lives and thinking of contributors to this ongoing project and does not shy away from the many challenges and limitations that remain. He emphasises the roles not only of great thinkers and leaders but of all of us, of civil society, NGOs, and the governments which frame the circumstances of our lives.
Each chapter opens the door to issues which warrant deeper reflection and analysis ... that is our task but will benefit from Lauren's excellent and comprehensive overview.
Highly recommended for anybody interested in the world and its politics, the inequities we see around us, and the challenges of promoting social justice and human rights.
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