Human Rights Review

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 135–137 | Cite as

Wollstonecraft, Mill & Women’s Human Rights by Eileen Hunt Botting

New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016
  • Thomas E. RandallEmail author
Book Review

In Wollstonecraft, Mill & Women’s Human Rights, Eileen Hunt Botting offers the first comparative study in the political thought of Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill, centered on women’s human rights. This comparative exercise is significant – the works of Wollstonecraft and Mill represent watershed moments in holding the liberal vision of human rights to account: that human rights apply to both men and women, by virtue of the “sexes’ shared status as human beings” (1). While these two thinkers are rightly celebrated, Botting’s unique contribution with Wollstonecraft is in fact a candid analysis of the drawbacks of Wollstonecraft’s and Mill’s work. These two thinkers do not escape their cultural prejudices, contradictorily defending universal human rights while sometimes excluding or caricaturing non-European women and their cultures. Botting emphasizes the importance of being cognizant of these drawbacks; indeed, Botting’s aim in Wollstonecraftis to show how a revised theory...


Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceWestern UniversityLondonCanada

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