The Story Behind Amnesty International

In March 2011 The Story Behind Amnesty International. A 50 Years Struggle for Human Rights was published. This book was written by Bert Breij and me. The book is about the leaders who turned Amnesty into the number one champion of human rights in the world: Peter Benenson, the founding father, Séan MacBride, the successor who kicked Benenson out, José Zalaquett, who, together with Thomas Hammarberg, experienced the glory years of Amnesty, Mümtaz Soysal, who performed the speech at the ceremony in which Amnesty received the Nobel-price, and Irene Khan, the first female secretary-general. The book is also available in English and as an ebook.

Our Balancing Act

One of the biggest challenges humanity faces the next decennia, is to balance ecosystems, that make live possible, and our use of these systems. Clean air and clean and sufficient amounts of water are examples everybody is concerned about. However, the importance of the Amazone for the production of the medicines we swallow, is hardly known. This is why the destruction of ecosystems is also a huge threat to many and large economic concerns. Therefor, a solution to the destruction of ecosystems must also be found in our economic system. Denis Slieker and Jos van Assendelft have in Our Balancing Act. The true value of ecosystems (2010) proposed a solution. Those who are interested in the relation between those activities that earn us our daily bread and the effects of these activities, this book is a must read. As with Twee miljoen leden [Two million members; only in Dutch] I was responsible for editing of the book.

Two million members

In 2008 Bert Breij asked me to help him edit the book he was writing about the history of the Dutch Trade Unions: Twee miljoen leden. Over het verleden, het heden en de toekomst van de Nederlandse vakbeweging. [Two million members. About the past, the present and the future of the Dutch Trade Unions; only in Dutch] The book was published at the commemoration of the 25 year existence of the Trade Unions Historical Association. Bert concerning my contribution: “I also thank very specifically Tom van Oosterhout … because he was my counterpart from a to z, my editor, a part of my conscience, full of eruditeness and perusal.” What a wonderful compliment.

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