Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gal Beckerman's six favorite books about political movements

Gal Beckerman is the opinion editor at The Forward. He was a longtime editor and staff writer at the Columbia Journalism Review and has also written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He was a Fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin and the recipient of a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. His first book, When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone, a history of the Soviet Jewry movement, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in September 2010. It was named was one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker and the Washington Post, as well as winning the 2010 National Jewish Book Award.

One of Beckerman's six favorite books about political movements, as told to The Week magazine:
The Last Utopia by Samuel Moyn

Moyn's revisionist history is an argument for looking at the concept of human rights as a fairly new phenomenon, dating to the 1970s. While discounting the idea's role in shaping society in earlier centuries, he provides a great primer on the evolution of a revolutionary idea.
Read about the other books on Beckerman's list.

The Page 99 Test: Samuel Moyn's The Last Utopia.

--Marshal Zeringue