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Where did human rights come from? This question, rarely asked before the end of the Cold War, has in recent years become a major focus of historical and ideological strife. In a series of reflective and critical essays, Samuel Moyn engages with some of the leading theorists of human rights, who have been creating a field from scratch without due reflection on the local and temporary contexts of their narratives.

Having staked out his owns claims about the postwar origins of human rights discourse in his acclaimed The Last Utopia, Moyn’s new volume takes issue with his intellectual opponents—including, especially, those seeking justification for humanitarian intervention.

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