In Our Own Best Interest (Hardcover)
How Defending Human rights Benefits All Americans
Beacon Press, 9780807002261, 256pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2001
From the director of Amnesty International, a provocative new argument for defending human rights The Philippines, Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia, east Los Angeles. The nightly news brings vivid images of the mistreatment of people all over the world into our living rooms. In the secure comfort of those rooms, we may feel sympathetic, but far removed from these atrocities. "What does all this have to do with a person in east Tennessee?" is the question, from a call-in radio program listener, that prompted Bill Schulz to write this book.
Schulz provides answers with an insightful work, generously laced with compelling stories of women and men from all continents, which clearly delineates the connection between Americans' prosperity and human rights violations all over the globe. The book reveals the high cost to the U.S. military of acute political instability in Eastern Europe, the economic impact on U.S. businesses of systemic corruption in East Asia, the serious worldwide environmental hazards of nuclear fuel leaks in Russia, the imminent threat of deadly viruses spreading from Africa, and even the expensive consequences of substandard prison conditions in the United States, to name some examples. At the heart of each of these problems lies the abuse of basic human rights. Through these stories, Schulz builds a powerful case for defending our own interests by vigorously defending the human rights of people everywhere.
"If any foreign policy primer could be called a page-turner, it is this one by the executive director of Amnesty International USA. What the human rights community needs to do, argues Schulz in this well-written clarion call, is find 'the compelling reasons why respect for human rights is in the best interests of the United States.' . . . Schulz has written a clear and provocative book that should be read by all concerned with human rights and U.S. foreign policy and will draw new supporters among the general public." Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"In such a climate, William F. Schulz, a former UUA president and current executive director of Amnesty International USA, has written a smart, detailed and compelling book about the urgency of the human rights movement. In Our Own Best Interest: How Defending Human Rights Benefits All Americans strikes at the core of existing notions of national self-interest by making the case that if we value our own lives and futures, we will pay serious attention to upholding human rights everywhere on earth. . . . In writing In Our Own Best Interests, Schulz has given new life and strength to the reality of our interdependence." World