Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Human Rights'

Towards the end, most people behaved in the same way – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 20th, 2012 · Comments Off on Towards the end, most people behaved in the same way – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler · Communism, Human Rights

Rubashov stood stiffly between the bed and the bucket, held his breath, and waited for the first scream. He remembered that the first scream, in which terror still predominated over physical pain, was usually the worst; what followed was already more bearable, one got used to it and after a time one could even draw […]

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“If This Is a Man” – Primo Levi

May 18th, 2012 · Comments Off on “If This Is a Man” – Primo Levi · Genocide, Humanism, Poetry, WW2

If This Is a Man You who live safe In your warm houses, You who find, returning in the evening, Hot food and friendly faces: Consider if this is a man Who works in the mud, Who does not know peace, Who fights for a scrap of bread, Who dies because of a yes or […]

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Liberty and Property – “On the Wealth of Nations”, P.J. O’Rourke

May 14th, 2012 · Comments Off on Liberty and Property – “On the Wealth of Nations”, P.J. O’Rourke · Economics, Philosophy, Policy

Any definition of liberty that is not based on a right to property and a right to the same rights as all other people have is meaningless. What we have is ours, and nobody can push us around. This is practically all we mean when we say we are free. Other rights derive from these, […]

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LBJ and the Civil Rights Act – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on LBJ and the Civil Rights Act – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr  · Politics, Progressive Politics

The Civil Rights Act of 1957, not in itself as revolutionary as its supporters hoped or its detractors feared, opened the door to later, more substantial legislative reparation to Blacks. Not until the next decade could Southern Black Children share a classroom with white Americans; not until the next decade could Southern Black adults eat […]

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Anna’s Letter – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 5th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Genocide, Prose, Writing, WW2

A letter from Anna Semyonovna to her son, Viktor Shtrum from a Ukrainian Ghetto: Vitya, I’m certain this letter will reach you, even though I’m now behind the German front line, behind the barbed wire of the Jewish ghetto. I won’t receive your answer, though; I won’t be here to receive it. I want you […]

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Slavery, The Bible and Philosophy “The Greek Way” – Edith Hamilton

February 11th, 2012 · Comments Off on Slavery, The Bible and Philosophy “The Greek Way” – Edith Hamilton · History, Human Rights, Morality, Philosophy, Religion

The loftiest thinkers, idealists, and moralists never had an idea that slavery was evil. In the Old Testament it is accepted without comment exactly as in the records of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Even the prophets of Israel did not utter a word against it, nor, for that matter, did St. Paul. What is strange is […]

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Liberty – “Make Gentle The Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy” – Maxwell Taylor Kennedy

January 26th, 2012 · Comments Off on Liberty – “Make Gentle The Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy” – Maxwell Taylor Kennedy · Human Rights, Quotes, The Law

Our liberty can grow only when the liberties of all our fellow men are secure; and he who would enslave others ends only by chaining himself, for chains have two ends, and he who holds the chain is as securely bound as he whom it holds.

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The Law and Freedom – “Make Gentle The Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy” – Maxwell Taylor Kennedy

January 26th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Law and Freedom – “Make Gentle The Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy” – Maxwell Taylor Kennedy · Human Rights, The Law

President Kennedy then went on to point out that “Law is the strongest link between man and freedom”. I wonder in how many countries of the world people think of law as the “link between man and freedom.” We know that in many, law is the instrument of tyranny, and people think of law as […]

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Through a Trapdoor at the end of a rope – “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” – Christopher Hitchens

January 17th, 2012 · Comments Off on Through a Trapdoor at the end of a rope – “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” – Christopher Hitchens · History, Human Rights, Morality, Philosophy, Politics, Security Policy, War, WW2

Some statements are too blunt for everyday, consensual discourse. In national ‘debate’, it is the smoother pebbles that are customarily gathered from the stream, and used as projectiles. They leave less of a scar, even when they hit. Occasionally, however, a single hard-edged remark will inflict a deep and jagged wound, a gash so ugly […]

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International Law – “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” – Christopher Hitchens

January 17th, 2012 · Comments Off on International Law – “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” – Christopher Hitchens · History, Human Rights, Policy, Politics, Power, Security Policy, War

Many if not most of Kissinger’s partners in crime are now in jail, or are awaiting trial, or have been otherwise punished or discredited. His own lonely impunity is rank; it smells to heaven. If it is allowed to persist then we shall shamefully vindicate the ancient philosopher Anarchasis, who maintained that laws were like […]

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