Summary of Rights from Wrongs

A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights

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Rights from Wrongs book summary
If you want to defend civil liberties, you can never rest. Someone is always planning to curtail your rights.

Rating

7 Overall

9 Innovation

7 Style

Recommendation

This high level book on legal philosophy attempts to discover and explain the origins and future development of human rights and civil liberties. Legal scholar, Harvard law professor and author Alan Dershowitz makes no attempt to tutor readers. He starts from an expert philosophical perspective, and only goes deeper as he seamlessly navigates through contemporary, historical and judicial examples to present his theory about the origins of rights. Dershowitz is a masterful, machete-wielding guide through a dense, challenging forest of ideas laced with tangled vines of legal ideology. getAbstract.com recommends his book to readers with prior knowledge of the progress of human rights and U.S. civil liberties, as well as social and legal philosophy. It is a notch thick for good cocktail party conversation or easy undergraduate debate. However, it exemplifies Dershowitz’s vivid thought process and powerful command of social philosophy. Dershowitz and other civil libertarians feel constantly compelled to challenge any court rulings or majority-held opinions that even remotely hint of infringing on real or perceived personal rights. This book fully explains why.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Where human rights and civil liberties come from
  • What role experience has in shaping civil liberties in the U.S.
  • What differences distinguish the "living" and the "dead" interpretations of the U.S. Constitution
 

Summary

Legal Fictions
Where do rights come from? Some assert that they are God-given, emanate from nature or result from logical arguments. Various groups developed these contentions over the years to buttress their respective positions. In reality, rights emanate from the experiences of other...
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About the Author

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is a defense attorney, columnist, lecturer and author. His books include Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000; Why Terrorism Works; Letters to a Young Lawyer; Sexual McCarthyism; Reasonable Doubts; Chutzpah; Reversal of Fortune; The Genesis of Justice and The Abuse Excuse.


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