OVERRIDE

Taking a Stand

The Evolution of Human Rights

Juan E. Méndez with Marjory Wentworth; Foreword by Ian Martin

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Juan Méndez has experienced human rights abuse first hand. As a result of his work with political prisoners in the late 1970s, the Argentinean military dictatorship arrested, tortured, and held him for more than a year. During that time, Amnesty International adopted him as a “Prisoner of Conscience.” After his release, he moved to the United States and continued his lifelong fight for the rights of others, and the lessons he has gleaned over the decades can help us with our current struggles.  Here, he sets forth an authoritative and incisive examination of torture, detention, exile, armed conflict, and genocide, whose urgency is even greater in the wake of America's recent disastrous policies. Méndez offers a new strategy for holding governments accountable for their actions, providing an essential blueprint for different human rights groups to be able to work together to effect change.

REVIEWS

Praise for Taking a Stand

"A man who knows whereof he speaks makes painfully clear the meaning ofthe abstract term 'human rights' . . .A fact-filled, well-researched analysis." - Kirkus Reviews
"Inspires...vividly recounted examples of human rights violations convey the urgency of the cause." - Publishers Weekly
"Juan Méndez is a true leader of the human rights movement. In Taking A Stand he presents us with his extraordinary experience and distils it into words of wisdom." - Salil Shetty, Secretary General, Amnesty International"Juan Mendez has a remarkable career in human rights. In his early years he suffered imprisonment and torture for standing up for human rights in his native Argentina. Those experiences undoubtedly inspired him to fight many important battles for the protection of endangered people in many parts of the world. His personal story and career that are recounted in this book will inspire all who are interested in the protection of human rights and especially those embarking on a career in that field." - Justice Richard Goldstone, author of For Humanity
"Juan Méndez has been at the forefront of the global struggle for human rights for more than three decades and is awidely admired figure. His book, Taking a Stand, weaves together history, analysis and autobiography to create a compelling narrative of many of the battles for rights in which he has been a leader." - Aryeh Neier, President, Open Society Institute
"Juan Mendez's career, cometlike, has streaked clear across the breadth of the human rights firmament, and with this book, he uses that life to illuminate each and every sign, as it were, of the rights zodiac: torture, disappearance, genocide, accountability, justice . . .. His has been a brave and lucid life, and this is a brave and lucid book, elegantly framed, and shot through with an unbowed, if understated, passion." - Lawrence Weschler, author of A Miracle, A Universe and Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder
"Juan Mendez, a towering figure in human rights advocacy, has written an impressively lucid and honest account of his remarkable life. For nearly four decades Mendez has been at the forefront of the human rights movement, not only in Latin America but worldwide. His unswerving commitment to the rule of law comes alive on these pages. Mendez has not only been a witness to history, but has also played a fundamental role in shaping it towards greater decency and justice. Taking a Stand is an invaluable contribution, told with characteristic modesty by a giant in the field who continues to inspire others through his wise reflections and outstanding example." - Michael Shifter, President, Inter-American Dialogue
"Juan Méndez is a true leader of the human rights movement. In Taking A Stand he presents us with his extraordinary experience and distils it into words of wisdom." - Salil Shetty, Secretary General, Amnesty International
"Taking a Stand is essential and fascinatingreading for anyone interested in the most effective strategies used by human rights defenders. Juan Mendez draws on his personal experiences as both a victim of torture and a pioneer of human rights advocacyto examine some of the most pressing issues of our day." - Jose Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch
"In the field of human rights, there is no greater advocate than Juan Mendez. This thought provoking and moving book offers remarkable insight into the principles of justice and accountability. It is also a testimony to the uncompromising spirit of a man who, at great personal sacrifice, refused to remain silent." - Mark S. Ellis, Executive Director, International Bar Association
"We can all sleep more soundly at night knowing that men like Juan Mendez take a stand to defend the rights of us all. This is a magnificent book that tells a noble story of passionate but impartial dedication to the cause of human rights. And it comes from someone who learned of human wrongs on the torture table and in jail in his native Argentina and who went on to fight for human rights across the globe.Taking a Stand will inspireothers to follow in the footsteps of Juan Mendez and will also serve as a blueprint on how to stand up to dictators and advance true democracy." - Robert Cox, former editor-in-chief of the Buenos Aires Heraldand former president of the Inter American Press Association
"To a remarkable extent, Juan Mendez's personal story parallels the history of the human rights movement. As a torture victim in Argentina whose life may well have been saved by activist intervention, Juan provides an early illustration of the power of the movement. As a leader in several of the world's most prominent human rights organizations and initiatives, Juan helped shape the movement in its formative stages as it discovered its voice, role and influence. Juan tells this growing-up story with the passion, insight and intelligence that has characterized his long and impressive career. The human rights movement is lucky to have had Juan as a core member, and is fortunate to have him now share this moving and perceptive account of its evolution." - Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Juan E. Méndez with Marjory Wentworth; Foreword by Ian Martin

  • Juan Méndez is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. Previously, he served as the first Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations on the Prevention of Genocide and is the former president of the International Center for Transitional Justice. He spent 15 years at Human Rights Watch, then served as executive director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica and was president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States. He is currently a visiting professor of Law at Washington College of Law. He lives in New York City.

    Marjory Wentworth is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet whose has worked extensively in human rights for organizations such as the UN High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland; The Whole World Institute of Boston; and Church World Service in New York. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Available Formats and Book Details

Taking a Stand

The Evolution of Human Rights

Juan E. Méndez with Marjory Wentworth; Foreword by Ian Martin

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