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Freedom: Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Paperback – January 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ranging from the surreal to the subtle, this sweeping anthology illustrates the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and features a contributor list that reads like a who's who of leading writers from across the globe, including David Mitchell, Joyce Carol Oates, Paulo Coelho, Mahmoud Saeed, Yann Martel, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In Kate Atkinson's "The War on Women," Britain passes a law requiring women to stay home and wear the burqa. A group of neighbors in a housing project takes justice into their own hands in Walter Mosley's "The Trial." The protagonist of James Meek's "The Kind of Neighbor You Used to Have" discovers how little risk his neighbors are willing to take to avert injustice. Banana Yoshimoto's "A Special Boy" delves into the effects of a mother's abandonment of her son. The narrator of Ali Smith's "The Go-Between" occupies the space between oppression and freedom--literally--as he attempts to move from Morocco into Spain. Vibrant and often chilling, these stories paint a rousing picture of the continuing battle to ensure basic human dignity. (Jan.)
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Review

“The stories here are impressive in scope and show that The Universal Declaration of Human Rights can apply to many aspects of the human experience. Valuable reading.”—Library Journal

"Vibrant and often chilling, these stories paint a rousing picture of the continuing battle to ensure basic human dignity."—Publishers Weekly

“A timely reminder of the need for basic human dignity, freedom, rights, and respect. Inspirational and a very good read.” —Big Issue
 
“Angry, moving, upsetting, inspiring . . . It’s not always subtle. But it’s very effective.” —Daily Mail
 
“Freedom is illuminating and impressive.” —Guardian
 
“This is an inspirational collection of stories. Each tale . . . uses the power of literature to outstanding effect.” —Good Book Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 413 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307588831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307588838
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Opa Wayne VINE VOICE on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I selected this book because I like short stories and enjoy reading the stories at times when I am waiting in offices of physicians, government agencies, and while waiting for my car to be serviced. When I realized that Amnesty International produced the book, I had low expectations for the "Freedom Stories" because I did not know the authors.

In December 1948, after the horrors of World War II, The United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the hope that people could be free without suffering denial of their individual rights. "Freedom Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" is an attempt by Amnesty International to explain each of the thirty statements that constitute the declaration. Amnesty International chose to communicate the thirty declarations with thirty short stories.

Most of the stories are interesting and well written. I discovered that many of the authors are universally acclaimed writers and most of the rest are famous diplomats and leaders in their countries. These stories illustrate why we should not take our "rights" for granted.

Several stories were especially noteworthy. One, written about freedom of Conscience, is poignant. It tells of a woman locked up in a prison and kept in a deprived state to persuade her to renounce her faith. The story, "Where I Keep my Faith", is graphic and persuasive. The main character is so realistic that I wanted to talk to her.

Another story, written to support the premise that "All Are Born Free and Equal", seems to not actually relate to the statement of that right. The tale, however, is fascinating. This absorbing tale quickly immersed me in the life of an old woman living alone in a humble house by the sea.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reading the foreword from South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is reason enough for this book. Reading Joyce Carole Oates in this context is reason enough for her writing. And here we meet once more Nadine Gordimer! Read above all Hector Aguilar Camin, in the original. See Paulo Coehlo, and all, and all.

Too often this seems an opportunity for a writer to show off her chops rather than exhort the right under question, and for this we require a more explicit examination of the meaning of each of these rights, essential to human life on this earth, and the explicit evidence of their violations in our nation.

Did you know we have a Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Do you know its history, and the history of its international acceptance? Do you know we violate this declaration continually and systematically; that this violation we have institutionalized?

Do you know that children, and woman, also have a declaration of rights, unapproved in our nation, as, among other things, excluding children from war and slavery?

let us see these rights as summarized in the chapter headings:

Article One
All are born free and equal.

even those born in our nation of illegalized parentage?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Jenkins on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this country, we take our basic rights for granted and our sense of entitlement is what often sets us apart rom a lot of cultures. But imagine if your opinions and values were deemed not only irrelevant, but also dangerous to the point where your voice becomes silenced by force. What would you do if your mere opinion could land you in jail? What does it mean to be free and equal--and do you know that it's NOT the case in many countries?

This book offers stories from Amnesty International, an organization dedicated to protecting the basic human rights of all people, and gives you a glimpse at just how far we are as a globe from respecting our basic rights as a species. I've volunteered for them in the past because I do beleive that that all of us on this planet need to respect one another and that our basic right to freedom is the most important one we need to honor. These stories will make you mad, sad and ever more respectful of the foundations of our country is based upon.

Ultimately, I hope the book makes you take action and that you find out what YOU can do instead of just sitting back and taking life in the US for granted!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Freedom's stories are dark and claustrophobic, with events (too joyous a word) occurring by situation, but more so by location of country, and often -- as often is the case -- sadly enough, between citizens within the same country. race, class, and gender divide and contribute to the distribution of violence and hatred. Freedom's stories occur on many parts of the globe. there are some countries where violence and the violation of human rights occur more than in other countries. there are people of various classifications to whom violence is subjected and human rights denied.

the author james baldwin wrote that you can only know that you are safe if someone else is in trouble. that statement rings clear while reading Freedom's stories, each story concerned with a separate human right as listed as the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

the thirty six writers, the contributors to the anthology, are mostly prize winners, some like paulo coelho, walter mosley, nadine gordimer, and Ishmael beah, are known names, some famous. the anthology is a brief introduction to their work. unfortunately, there are a few disappointments. the story by david mitchell, for one, falls far short of his talent as a novelist as the story reads like it was forced to fit the specific right.

other stories fit a specific right by being felt by the author as heard at first hand or witnessed or experienced. there are stories of imprisonment and detainment, the illusion of movement to a safe place that is not safe, as in the story by mohammed naseehu ali, and stories where the persecuted dream, as part of their survival, of fleeing, hoping to reach safe harbor, as written by ali smith.
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