Review by Choice Review
The coeditors of this book worked hard to make it both relevant to rapidly evolving events in Eastern Europe and reflective of the major issues mentioned in its title. This volume evolved from a March 1989 conference organized by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study; papers were heavily revised as communist regimes crumbled or were toppled. As Mastny (author of Helsinki, Human Rights, and European Security, 1986) observes, "The assertion of the human rights that were first solemnly proclaimed in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in 1789 sounded the death knell for communism in 1989." The 12 chapters (plus introduction and conclusion) are written by recognized specialists, including Peter Baehr, Jack Donnelly, William Griffith, and Brad Roberts. However, the book does not cohere well, perhaps inevitable given its breadth and the pace of events in Eastern Europe. Chapters are brief, conveying little new to specialists (although persons unacquainted with the Helsinki agreement and Eastern European political and ethnic issues will profit from some chapters). Given the quality of the authors and the importance of the subject, this volume promises more than it is able to fulfill. Upper-division undergraduate students. -C. E. Welch, SUNY at Buffalo
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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