Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Renewing Human Rights

From the February 2019 Print Edition

When Eleanor Roosevelt and a small group of people gathered at the behest of the U.N. in early 1947 to draft the world’s first “international bill of rights,” they cannot have had very high hopes for their endeavor. The world was awash in colonial oppression, discrimination, poverty, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Reclaim Human Rights

From the Aug/Sept 2016 Print Edition

Longtime readers of First Things may recall that the April 1998 issue featured a nuanced statement “On Human Rights” by the Ramsey Colloquium, a diverse group of Christian and Jewish scholars led by Richard John Neuhaus. The group’s aim was to provide the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . . . . Continue Reading »

God and Mrs. Roosevelt

From the May 2010 Print Edition

In her 1958 autobiography, Eleanor Roosevelt described an occasion in the early days of the U.N. Human Rights Commission when she invited three key players to her Washington Square apartment for tea. The guests that afternoon were the commission’s two leading intellectuals, Charles Malik of . . . . Continue Reading »

Cicero Superstar

From the January 2010 Print Edition

More rare than athletes who have played both baseball and football in the major leagues are individuals who have achieved great distinction in both politics and philosophy, the vocations that Aristotle deemed most choiceworthy. Marcus Tullius Cicero, however, would hold a place of honor on any list . . . . Continue Reading »

The Greatest Grassroots Movement of Our Times

From Web Exclusives

When I received a letter from Dr. Wanda Franz telling me about the “Proudly Pro-Life Award,” I was, quite simply, overcome with emotion. There is no honor or award that could mean more to me than one from my fellow members of what my friend the late Richard John Neuhaus always called “the greatest grassroots movement of our times.” At the same time, I can’t help but be humbled at the thought of the great men and women to whom you have given this honor in the past… . Continue Reading »

Plato as Statesman

From the November 2007 Print Edition

As Max Weber observed in Politics as a Vocation and Science as a Vocation—and as borne out by his own unsuccessful forays into political life—the qualities that make a first-rate political or social theorist are not the same as those required for success as a statesman. For every Cicero or . . . . Continue Reading »