Monday, March 16, 2009

What is Julie A. Mertus reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Julie A. Mertus, author of Human Rights Matters: Local Politics and National Human Rights Institutions.

Her entry begins:
I’m reading three books at the same time. First, I am reading Lynn Hunt’s Inventing Human Rights, a brilliant intimate history of the origins of the idea of human rights. The part of the book that had a big impact on my was its excruciating detail about various forms of torture – including “breaking them on the wheel” (describing it as turning someone into a pretzel by strapping them to a wheel and contorting them in different directions).[read on]
Julie A. Mertus is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the MA program in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs at American University. Her publications include The United Nations and Human Rights and Bait and Switch: Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy, which was named Human Rights Book of the Year by the American Political Science Association Human Rights Section.

Among the early praise for Human Rights Matters:
"This insightful work makes a strong case that domestic human rights institutions are essential for understanding the diffusion and implementation of human rights, perhaps more important than the international institutions that have received the lion's share of scholarly attention. As interest in domestic human rights institutions continues to grow, Mertus's richly detailed findings will spark lively discussion and help to fill a considerable gap in the literature."
—Michael Goodhart, University of Pittsburgh
Writers Read: Julie A. Mertus.

--Marshal Zeringue