Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s

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9780674724853: Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s

The American commitment to international human rights emerged in the 1970s not as a logical outgrowth of American idealism but as a surprising response to national trauma, as Barbara Keys shows in this provocative history. Reclaiming American Virtue situates this novel enthusiasm as a reaction to the profound challenge of the Vietnam War and its tumultuous aftermath. Instead of looking inward for renewal, Americans on the right and the left alike looked outward for ways to restore America's moral leadership.

Conservatives took up the language of Soviet dissidents to resuscitate a Cold War narrative that pitted a virtuous United States against the evils of communism. Liberals sought moral cleansing by dissociating the United States from foreign malefactors, spotlighting abuses such as torture in Chile, South Korea, and other right-wing allies. When Jimmy Carter in 1977 made human rights a central tenet of American foreign policy, his administration struggled to reconcile these conflicting visions.

Yet liberals and conservatives both saw human rights as a way of moving from guilt to pride. Less a critique of American power than a rehabilitation of it, human rights functioned for Americans as a sleight of hand that occluded from view much of America's recent past and confined the lessons of Vietnam to narrow parameters. It would be a small step from world's judge to world's policeman, and American intervention in the name of human rights would be a cause both liberals and conservatives could embrace.

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About the Author:

Barbara J. Keys is Associate Professor of U.S. and International History at the University of Melbourne.

Review:

A genuine masterpiece of the historian's craft, Reclaiming American Virtue shows how human rights were a tonic for the country's self-confidence. America's fusion of moral principle and global violence in today's world no longer looks the same after this revelatory book. (Samuel Moyn, author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History)

The most comprehensive account of a central issue of U.S. foreign policy during an exceptionally important decade, Reclaiming American Virtue is clearly a major achievement.
(Lars Schoultz, author of Beneath the United States: A History of U.S. Policy toward Latin America)

Today, human rights and global interdependence are accepted as an essential basis for national and international affairs. Barbara Keys shows precisely when, where, and how this complete reconceptualization of America's role in the world came about. A major contribution to the growing body of literature in human rights history. (Akira Iriye, editor of Global Interdependence: The World after 1945)

This timely, well-reasoned study demonstrates why Americans from across the political spectrum embraced international human rights as a foreign policy goal. (Publishers Weekly 2013-10-28)

An accessible, searching study of an idea that seems to have been forgotten in favor of the steely, cost-cutting pragmatism of today. (Kirkus Reviews 2014-01-01)

Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s is a vigorous and engaging account of the emergence of the concept and its non-linear journey from lip-serving political piety to an integral, if contradictory, component of the foreign policy of the U.S. (Marilyn B. Young Times Higher Eeducation 2014-02-13)

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Keys, Barbara J.
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0674724852 US STUDENT EDITION - Free Tracking number with every purchase. Satisfaction guaranteed. Orders ship within 1-2 business days. (Hawaii,Alaska, Puerto Rico and APO's, allow additional time for delivery.). Codice libro della libreria Z0674724852ZN

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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The American commitment to international human rights emerged in the 1970s not as a logical outgrowth of American idealism but as a surprising response to national trauma, as Barbara Keys shows in this provocative history. Reclaiming American Virtue situates this novel enthusiasm as a reaction to the profound challenge of the Vietnam War and its tumultuous aftermath. Instead of looking inward for renewal, Americans on the right and the left alike looked outward for ways to restore America s moral leadership.Conservatives took up the language of Soviet dissidents to resuscitate a Cold War narrative that pitted a virtuous United States against the evils of communism. Liberals sought moral cleansing by dissociating the United States from foreign malefactors, spotlighting abuses such as torture in Chile, South Korea, and other right-wing allies. When Jimmy Carter in 1977 made human rights a central tenet of American foreign policy, his administration struggled to reconcile these conflicting visions.Yet liberals and conservatives both saw human rights as a way of moving from guilt to pride. Less a critique of American power than a rehabilitation of it, human rights functioned for Americans as a sleight of hand that occluded from view much of America s recent past and confined the lessons of Vietnam to narrow parameters. It would be a small step from world s judge to world s policeman, and American intervention in the name of human rights would be a cause both liberals and conservatives could embrace. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780674724853

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Barbara J. Keys
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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The American commitment to international human rights emerged in the 1970s not as a logical outgrowth of American idealism but as a surprising response to national trauma, as Barbara Keys shows in this provocative history. Reclaiming American Virtue situates this novel enthusiasm as a reaction to the profound challenge of the Vietnam War and its tumultuous aftermath. Instead of looking inward for renewal, Americans on the right and the left alike looked outward for ways to restore America s moral leadership.Conservatives took up the language of Soviet dissidents to resuscitate a Cold War narrative that pitted a virtuous United States against the evils of communism. Liberals sought moral cleansing by dissociating the United States from foreign malefactors, spotlighting abuses such as torture in Chile, South Korea, and other right-wing allies. When Jimmy Carter in 1977 made human rights a central tenet of American foreign policy, his administration struggled to reconcile these conflicting visions.Yet liberals and conservatives both saw human rights as a way of moving from guilt to pride. Less a critique of American power than a rehabilitation of it, human rights functioned for Americans as a sleight of hand that occluded from view much of America s recent past and confined the lessons of Vietnam to narrow parameters. It would be a small step from world s judge to world s policeman, and American intervention in the name of human rights would be a cause both liberals and conservatives could embrace. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780674724853

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ISBN 10: 0674724852 ISBN 13: 9780674724853
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Descrizione libro Harvard 2014-02-07, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2014. hardback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780674724853

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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 2014. Condizione libro: New. Instead of looking inward for renewal, Americans looked outward for ways to restore their moral leadership. From world's judge to world's policeman was a small step, and intervention in the name of human rights became a cause both the left and right could embrace. This book shows that human rights emerged as a reaction to the Vietnam trauma. Num Pages: 324 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: 1KBB; 3JJPL; HBJK; HBLW3; HBTB; JPVH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 245 x 167 x 32. Weight in Grams: 732. . 2014. Hardcover. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780674724853

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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press. Condizione libro: New. Instead of looking inward for renewal, Americans looked outward for ways to restore their moral leadership. From world's judge to world's policeman was a small step, and intervention in the name of human rights became a cause both the left and right could embrace. This book shows that human rights emerged as a reaction to the Vietnam trauma. Num Pages: 324 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: 1KBB; 3JJPL; HBJK; HBLW3; HBTB; JPVH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 245 x 167 x 32. Weight in Grams: 732. . 2014. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780674724853

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