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Richard A. Primus examines three crucial periods in American history (the late eighteenth century, the Civil War and the 1950s and 1960s) and demonstrates how the conceptions of rights prevailing at each of these times grew out of opposition to concrete political cases. In the first study of its kind, Primus highlights the influence of totalitarianism (in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union) on the language of rights. This book will be a major contribution to contemporary political theory, of interest to scholars and students in politics and government, constitutional law, and American history.Read more
- Combines history, law, political theory and philosophy of language
- Defends the language of rights, in part using a new examination of totalitarianism
- Written by a Supreme Court clerk and ex-Rhodes scholar
Reviews & endorsements
"This book is a major contribution to contemporary political theory, of interest to scholars and students in politics and government, constitutional law, and American history." Yale Law ReportSee more reviews
"This book examines three periods in American history - the late eighteenth century, the Civil War, and the 1950s and 1960s - to demonstrate how the conceptions of rights prevailing during these times grew from reactions to social and political crises. Conceptualizing rights langage as grounded in opposition to concrete social and political practices, Primus explores the potency of rights language throughout American history and the impact of modern totalitarianism on American conceptions of rights." Law and Social Inquiry
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- Date Published: December 2004
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521616218
- length: 284 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 151 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.43kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Rights theory and rights practice
2. History and the development of rights
3. Rights of the founding
4. Rights and reconstruction: syntheses and shell games
5. Rights after World War II
Conclusion: rights and reasons
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