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Library of Congress Control Number: 2020949795

This book, written by one of the world's leading authorities on civil rights, contains important original insights of value to scholars working in the area while remaining accessible to students and interested members of the general public. Civil Rights: A Quick Immersion sets the standard for scholarship on this important subject. Christopher Heath Wellman, Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Academic Planning, Washington University-St. Louis.

Civil Rights by Andrew Altman breaks new ground on important questions about rights in modern society. After providing an account of civil rights’ connections to human, moral, natural, and legal rights, Altman looks unflinchingly at the history of several civil rights movements, focusing particularly on political struggles of Black Americans and European Jews. Civil Rights dramatically illustrates the treacherous see-saw of legal reform’s gains and losses, hard-won successes and heartbreaking defeats, where certain civil rights have been denied, then legally established, later rescinded by judicial rulings and convention, later still recognized, again diminished, and so forth. Altman raises a suggestion that this relentless back and forth, gaining, then losing political recognition, may be endemic to legal reform itself, thus limiting its ability to ensure civil rights. Is this what inspires Altman to make the provocative yet promising claim that there are two senses of civil rights, and that “In a crucial sense, the rights with which we are concerned in this book cannot be granted or revoked, but they can be recognized, protected, or violated”? (p. 6) Read this tantalizing sometimes chilling yet user-friendly Civil Rights guide to find out. Sandra Dwyer, Principal Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University

The idea of civil rights has animated the actions of countless persons and groups around the globe over the past several centuries. But what are civil rights? Why has the idea played such an important role in the history of the modern world? Is the idea a valuable one for addressing issues faced by societies in the early decades of the 21st century? This book addresses those questions from philosophical as well as historical perspectives. It explains the idea of civil rights by looking at its use over the centuries in major legal and political controversies over who gets to be a full member of society and what that membership entails. Three historic civil rights movements are prominent in the discussion: the Civil Rights Movement of Black Americans, the emancipation of European Jews, and the international women’s movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Drawing lessons from the similarities and differences among those movements, the book also examines 21st century civil rights issues involving matters of sexual orientation, religion, and race..

Andrew Altman Andrew Altman is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Georgia State University. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and specializes in legal and political philosophy. Professor Altman has authored four books and dozens of scholarly articles on legal and political philosophy. His latest book is Debating Pornography (Oxford U.P. 2019; co-author: Lori Watson). Professor Altman is the recipient of five major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (USA) and several teaching awards from his university.