Forsythe receives Dartmouth medal

Feb 25th, 2010 | By | Category: Employee News, February 25, 2010, Issue

“The Encyclopedia of Human Rights,” a new five-volume collection edited by political scientist David Forsythe, has received the American Library Association’s Dartmouth Medal.

The award, dubbed the Nobel Prize of reference publishing, designates the best reference source annually.

Published by Oxford University Press, the encyclopedia took six years to compile and contains more than 300 entries written by a group of international academics, journalists and practitioners.

Forsythe worked with an advisory group of six associate editors and wrangled 275 authors. He said the massive undertaking was worth the result, but not necessarily an experience he’s eager to duplicate anytime soon.

“It was a long and complicated process,” Forsythe said. “The authors deserve the real credit because they devoted their time and expertise, and this whole thing is based on almost pro bono service. It’s their interest in human rights and their commitment to the cause, and to education, that got them involved. It’s certainly not because they make a lot of money writing these essays.”

Forsythe wrote half a dozen of the encyclopedia’s entries himself. He also convinced several of his UNL colleagues to contribute.

Organized into four categories (rights, organizations, persons and situations), the encyclopedia covers the gamut of global human rights.

Forsythe believes the primary audiences for the encyclopedia are university students and scholars. Copies are available in UNL’s Love Library and Law Library.

Forsythe is writing a book about the United States’ treatment of enemy prisoners after Sept. 11, 2001. The book is tentatively titled, “Politics of Abuse: US Policy Toward Enemy Prisoners After 9/11.”

— By Sara Gilliam, University Communications

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