1 novembre 2013

OUVRAGE : J. Winter, A. Prost, René Cassin and Human Rights: From the Great War to the Universal Declaration

Catherine MAIA

Through the life of one extraordinary man, this biography reveals what the term human rights meant to the men and women who endured two world wars, and how this major political and intellectual movement ultimately inspired and enshrined the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. René Cassin was a man of his generation, committed to moving from war to peace through international law, and whose work won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968. His life crossed all the major events of the first seventy years of the twentieth century, and illustrates the hopes, aspirations, failures and achievements of an entire generation. It shows how today's human rights regimes emerged from the First World War as a pacifist response to that catastrophe and how, after 1945, human rights became a way to go beyond the dangers of absolute state sovereignty, helping to create today's European project.


Introduction to the English edition

Part I. In the Shadow of the Great War
1. Family and education, 1887–1914
2. The Great War and its aftermath
3. Cassin in Geneva
4. From nightmare to reality: 1936–1940

Part II. The Jurist of Free France
5. Free France: 1940–41
6. World war: 1941–43
7. Restoring the Republican legal order: the 'Comité Juridique'
8. Freeze frame: René Cassin in 1944

Part III. The Struggle for Human Rights
9. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: origins and echoes
10. The vice-president of the Conseil d'Etat, 1944–1960
11. A Jewish life

An essay on sources

René Cassin and Human Rights

Jay WINTER, Antoine PROST, René Cassin and Human Rights: From the Great War to the Universal Declaration, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013 (397 pp.)

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