American History

The Long Road to Trump's War
Moyn, Samuel, and Stephen Wertheim. “The Long Road to Trump's War.” New York Times, 2017. Publisher's Version
Beyond Liberal Internationalism
Moyn, Samuel. “Beyond Liberal Internationalism.” Dissent, 2017, 108-14. Publisher's Version
Hope Hangover
Moyn, Samuel. “Hope Hangover.” Chronicle of Higher Education, 2016. Publisher's Version
How Civil Liberties Went Mainstream
Moyn, Samuel. “How Civil Liberties Went Mainstream.” Wall Street Journal, 2016. Publisher's Version
Endless War Watch, Summer 2016
Moyn, Samuel. “Endless War Watch, Summer 2016.” Lawfare, 2016. Publisher's Version
Why the War on Terror May Never End
Moyn, Samuel. “Why the War on Terror May Never End.” New York Times, 2016. Publisher's Version
America, Christianity, and Beyond
Moyn, Samuel. “America, Christianity, and Beyond.” Critical Analysis of Law 3, no. 1 (2016): 195-205. Publisher's Version
Justice Delayed: The Political Origins and Uncertain Future of Global Justice
Moyn, Samuel. “Justice Delayed: The Political Origins and Uncertain Future of Global Justice.” ABC Religion and Ethics, 2016. Publisher's Version
Toward a History of Clean and Endless War
Moyn, Samuel. “Toward a History of Clean and Endless War.” Just Security, 2015. Publisher's Version
Civil Liberties and Endless War
Moyn, Samuel. “Civil Liberties and Endless War.” Dissent 62, no. 4 (2015): 57-61. Publisher's Version
Christian Human Rights
Moyn, Samuel. Christian Human Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In Christian Human Rights, Samuel Moyn asserts that the rise of human rights after World War II was prefigured and inspired by a defense of the dignity of the human person that first arose in Christian churches and religious thought in the years just prior to the outbreak of the war. The Roman Catholic Church and transatlantic Protestant circles dominated the public discussion of the new principles in what became the last European golden age for the Christian faith. At the same time, West European governments after World War II, particularly in the ascendant Christian Democratic parties, became more tolerant of public expressions of religious piety. Human rights rose to public prominence in the space opened up by these dual developments of the early Cold War.

Moyn argues that human dignity became central to Christian political discourse as early as 1937. Pius XII's wartime Christmas addresses announced the basic idea of universal human rights as a principle of world, and not merely state, order. By focusing on the 1930s and 1940s, Moyn demonstrates how the language of human rights was separated from the secular heritage of the French Revolution and put to use by postwar democracies governed by Christian parties, which reinvented them to impose moral constraints on individuals, support conservative family structures, and preserve existing social hierarchies. The book ends with a provocative chapter that traces contemporary European struggles to assimilate Muslim immigrants to the continent's legacy of Christian human rights.

Scofflaws in the White House
Moyn, Samuel. “Scofflaws in the White House.” Wall Street Journal, 2015. Publisher's Version
Unfinished Arguments
Moyn, Samuel. “Unfinished Arguments.” New York Times Book Review, 2015. Publisher's Version
From Antiwar Politics to Antitorture Politics
Moyn, Samuel. “From Antiwar Politics to Antitorture Politics.” In Law and War, edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Umphrey, 154-97. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014. Publisher's Version
The International Law That Is America: Reflections on the Last Chapter ofThe Gentle Civilizer of Nations
Moyn, Samuel. “The International Law That Is America: Reflections on the Last Chapter ofThe Gentle Civilizer of Nations.” Temple International and Comparative Law Journal 29, no. 2 (2013): 399-415. Publisher's Version
The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History
Moyn, Samuel. The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Human rights offer a vision of international justice that today’s idealistic millions hold dear. Yet the very concept on which the movement is based became familiar only a few decades ago when it profoundly reshaped our hopes for an improved humanity. In this pioneering book, Samuel Moyn elevates that extraordinary transformation to center stage and asks what it reveals about the ideal’s troubled present and uncertain future.

For some, human rights stretch back to the dawn of Western civilization, the age of the American and French Revolutions, or the post–World War II moment when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was framed. Revisiting these episodes in a dramatic tour of humanity’s moral history, The Last Utopia shows that it was in the decade after 1968 that human rights began to make sense to broad communities of people as the proper cause of justice. Across eastern and western Europe, as well as throughout the United States and Latin America, human rights crystallized in a few short years as social activism and political rhetoric moved it from the hallways of the United Nations to the global forefront.

It was on the ruins of earlier political utopias, Moyn argues, that human rights achieved contemporary prominence. The morality of individual rights substituted for the soiled political dreams of revolutionary communism and nationalism as international law became an alternative to popular struggle and bloody violence. But as the ideal of human rights enters into rival political agendas, it requires more vigilance and scrutiny than when it became the watchword of our hopes.