Freedom's battle: the origins of humanitarian intervention

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Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf,
Pub. Date:
2008.
Language:
English
Description
Why do we sometimes let evil happen to others and sometimes rally to stop it? Whose lives matter to us? These are the key questions posed in this important and perceptive study of the largely forgotten nineteenth-century “atrocitarians”—some of the world’s first human rights activists. Wildly romantic, eccentrically educated, and full of bizarre enthusiasms, they were also morally serious people on the vanguard of a new political consciousness. And their legacy has much to teach us about the human rights crises of today.Gary Bass shatters the myth that the history of humanitarian intervention began with Bill Clinton, or even Woodrow Wilson, and shows, instead, that there is a tangled international tradition, reaching back more than two hundred years, of confronting the suffering of innocent foreigners. Bass describes the political and cultural landscapes out of which these activists arose, as an emergent free press exposed Europeans and Americans to atrocities taking place beyond their shores and galvanized them to act. He brings alive a century of passionate advocacy in Britain, France, Russia, and the United States: the fight the British waged against the oppression of the Greeks in the 1820s, the huge uproar against a notorious massacre in Bulgaria in the 1870s, and the American campaign to stop the Armenian genocide in 1915. He tells the gripping stories of the activists themselves: Byron, Bentham, Madison, Gladstone, Dostoevsky, and Theodore Roosevelt among them.Military missions in the name of human rights have always been dangerous undertakings. There has invariably been the risk of radical destabilization and the threatening blurring of imperial and humanitarian intentions. Yet Bass demonstrates that even in the imperialistic heyday of the nineteenth century, humanitarian ideals could play a significant role in shaping world politics. He argues that the failure of today’s leading democracies to shoulder such responsibilities has led to catastrophes such as those in Rwanda and Darfur—catastrophes that he maintains are neither inevitable nor traditional.Timely and illuminating, Freedom’s Battle challenges our assumptions about the history of morally motivated foreign policy and sets out a path for reclaiming that inheritance with greater modesty and wisdom.
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ISBN:
9780307266484
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full_title freedom s battle the origins of humanitarian intervention
author bass gary jonathan
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:25AM

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display_description Gary Bass shatters the myth that the history of humanitarian intervention began with Bill Clinton, or even Woodrow Wilson, and shows, instead, that there is a tangled international tradition, reaching back more than two hundred years, of confronting the suffering of innocent foreigners. Bass describes the political and cultural landscapes out of which these activists arose, as an emergent free press exposed Europeans and Americans to atrocities taking place beyond their shores and galvanized them to act. He brings alive a century of passionate advocacy in Britain, France, Russia, and the United States: the fight the British waged against the oppression of the Greeks in the 1820s, the huge uproar against a notorious massacre in Bulgaria in the 1870s, and the American campaign to stop the Armenian genocide in 1915. He tells the gripping stories of the activists themselves: Byron, Bentham, Madison, Gladstone, Dostoevsky, and Theodore Roosevelt among them. Bass also demonstrates that even in the imperialistic heyday of the nineteenth century, humanitarian ideals could play a significant role in shaping world politics. He argues that the failure of today's leading democracies to shoulder such responsibilities has led to catastrophes such as those in Rwanda and Darfur--catastrophes that he maintains are neither inevitable nor traditional.--From publisher description.
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subject_facet Humanitarian intervention -- Case studies, Humanitarian intervention -- History
table_of_contents Introduction -- Humanitarianism or imperialism? -- Media and solidarity -- The diplomacy of humanitarian intervention -- Greeks -- The Greek revolution -- The Scio massacre -- The London Greek committee -- America and the Greeks -- Lord Byron's war -- Canning -- The Holy alliance -- A rumor of slaughter -- Navarino -- Syrians -- France under the second empire -- The massacres -- Public opinion -- Occupying Syria -- Mission creep -- Bulgarians -- The Eastern question -- Pan-slavism -- Bosnia and Serbia -- Bulgarian horrors -- The Russo-Turkish war -- The Midlothian campaign -- Conclusion -- Armenians -- The uses of history -- The international politics of humanitarian intervention -- The domestic politics of humanitarian intervention -- A new imperialism?.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Freedom's battle : the origins of humanitarian intervention
title_display Freedom's battle : the origins of humanitarian intervention
title_full Freedom's battle : the origins of humanitarian intervention / by Gary J. Bass
title_short Freedom's battle :
title_sort freedom's battle the origins of humanitarian intervention
title_sub the origins of humanitarian intervention