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A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States

History Book Club's Second Virtual Gathering
September 30, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Eric D. Weitz, Distinguished Professor of History at The City College of New York (and former University of Minnesota professor), will discuss his new book with moderator Barbara Frey, Director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota


About the Book: A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States

Once dominated by vast empires, the world is now divided into close to 200 independent countries with laws and constitutions proclaiming human rights—a transformation that suggests that nations and human rights inevitably developed together. But the reality is far more problematic, as Eric Weitz shows in this compelling global history of the fate of human rights in a world of nation-states.

Through vivid histories drawn from virtually every continent, A World Divided describes how, since the eighteenth century, nationalists have struggled to establish their own states that grant human rights to some people. At the same time, they have excluded others through forced assimilation, ethnic cleansing, or even genocide.

A World Divided argues that only the continual advance of international human rights will move us beyond the quandary of a world divided between those who have rights and those who don’t. Read full book description.

We recommend using IndieBound to purchase a copy at an independent bookstore near you, or to download the audiobook.


About the Author 

Eric D. Weitz is Distinguished Professor of History at City College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is also the former dean of humanities and arts at City College.

Trained in modern German and European history, Weitz also works in international and global history. Weitz edits a book series for Princeton, Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity. He has been the recipient of many fellowships and awards from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and others.

Weitz lectures widely in public and academic settings on the history of human rights and genocides and on Weimar Germany.

Read Weitz's full bio.


About the Moderator 

Barbara Frey is director of the Human Rights Program in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. Frey has headed the program since it was established in 2001 for the purpose of providing academic, research, and outreach opportunities for students in the field of international human rights.

Frey teaches undergraduates, graduate students, and law students at the University. Frey speaks and publishes regularly on human rights topics including forms of international human rights advocacy, migration and human rights, and firearms and human rights.



What is History Book Club?

The History Book Club is a monthly event series that brings together alumni, faculty, students, and friends of the Department of History to engage virtually with our faculty (past and present) and learn about their recently published book.

Do I need to read the book to attend this gathering?

You do not! Our History Book Club gatherings are designed to be enjoyed by any history lover, whether or not you’ve read the featured book.

What can I expect as a participant?

The format of each gathering varies as we learn and try new things. In September, our featured author and moderator will have an informal conversation about the book for about 30 minutes, after which the moderator will lead a Q&A session.