Rights Talk by Mary Ann Glendon
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Rights Talk
By Mary Ann Glendon

Rights Talk

The Impoverishment of Political Discourse

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Format: Paperback

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Rights Talk by Mary Ann Glendon

Book Description

Argues that the strident language of rights that has been on the rise since World War II has stifled genuine debate, negotiation, and compromise and ultimately threatens the same liberties it seeks to protect.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780029118238
ISBN-10: 0029118239
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 155mm x 17mm)
Pages: 236
Imprint: The Free Press
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 26-Jan-1994
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Mary Ann Glendon

World Made New by Mary Ann Glendon World Made New, Paperback (June 2002)

A new book on the beloved first lady chronicles the achievement she was most proud of--the Universal Declaration of Human Rights--and describes her intensive efforts to forge this powerful document in the turbulent period following World War II. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

Transformation of Family Law by Mary Ann Glendon Transformation of Family Law, Paperback (February 1997)

This text offers a comparative and historical analysis of rapid and profound changes in the legal system beginning in the 1960s in England, France, West Germany, Sweden and the United States.

Abortion and Divorce in Western Law by Mary Ann Glendon Abortion and Divorce in Western Law, Paperback (July 1989)

Compares U.S. laws on divorce and abortion with those in twenty Western nations and suggests improvements to current American practices.

» View all books by Mary Ann Glendon


US Kirkus Review » Here, Harvard Law School professor Glendon argues eloquently and persuasively that modern American political discourse, by emphasizing an ever-expanding catalogue of rights to the exclusion of duties and responsibilities, has lost the central role in civic life envisioned for it by the Founding Fathers. Glendon shows that, in American society, both sides in political debates flame issues in terms of individual rights - flag-burning, domestic relations, and human reproduction, for example - and that this tendency impedes understanding and compromise. Such stark formulations, she says, ultimately lead to coerced, and often unsatisfying, social arrangements. Glendon makes a compelling case that the American political lexicon lacks a vocabulary for expressing normative and moral concepts that individual Americans understand and value highly, and that the legal culture, with its single-minded emphasis on obtaining civil rights (as opposed to cultivating moral norms), has actually contributed, albeit unwittingly, to the debasement of American political and legal discourse. Glendon calls for the inclusion of the "missing language of responsibility" and the "missing language of sociality" in American political dialogue, and for an increasing emphasis on individuals' responsibilities to their communities as a necessary concomitant to the rights they exercise. A forceful and valuable analysis of the banality of modern American public debate. (Kirkus Reviews)

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