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Catalog Archive / Fall 2019

Human Rights and Oppressed Peoples
Collected Essays and Speeches
Edited and translated by William Banks

“This is a very useful anthology of essays by Georg Brandes on the rights of oppressed peoples, written for various occasions over the last three decades of his life. The selection of the essays is in itself an accomplishment, as no such compilation, highlighting Brandes’s contribution to the development of a modern understanding of human rights, exists in other languages.”
—Lasse Horne Kjældgaard, Roskilde University

Georg Brandes was known as the “Father of the Modern Breakthrough” for his influence on Scandinavian writers in the late nineteenth century. A prominent writer, thinker, and speaker, he often examined intellectual topics beyond the literary criticism he was best known for. In this collection, William Banks has translated a number of Brandes’s pieces that engage in the concerns of oppressed peoples. By collecting, annotating, and contextualizing these works, Banks reintroduces Brandes as a major progenitor of thinking about the rights of national minorities and the colonized.

Human Rights and Oppressed Peoples includes thirty-five essays and published speeches from the early twenty-first century on subjects as diverse as the Boxer Rebellion, displaced peoples from World War I, Finland’s Jewish population, and imperialism. This collection will interest interdisciplinary scholars of human rights as well as those who study Scandinavian intellectual and literary history.


William Banks is an independent scholar and a translator on the Digital Currents project from Roskilde University.




“Many of the essays are very valuable for ‘eye witnessing’ the conflicts in Europe that were critical in shaping the continent for the rest of the century. These issues are still with us—which makes the historical value of the book very high indeed.”
—Bård Anders Andreassen, University of Oslo



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Human Rights and Oppressed Peoples: Cover showing a man looking directly at the viewer, with one hand propping up his head, wearing a tuxedo, all in black and white. He is sitting at a desk with a book open before him.

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February 2020
LC: 2019011082 PT
368 pp. 6 x 9

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Casebound $79.95 S
ISBN 9780299324100
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