Magazine October 17, 2011, Issue

Lawyers without Borders

U.S. and European Union flags at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)
Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or Be Ruled by Others? by John Fonte (Encounter, 369 pp., $25.95)

In the early 1950s, serious conservatives warned of an impending world government. In proposed U.N. human-rights treaties, they saw a device for supplanting the American Constitution and gradually imposing socialism throughout the world. But the U.N. turned out to be paralyzed by real-world divisions. Under Eisenhower and Kennedy, U.S. foreign policy paid little heed to the U.N. By the early 1960s, warnings about world government stirred little interest outside the fevered precincts of the John Birch Society.

But the end of the Cold War kindled hopes that international law could safeguard human rights, forestall environmental threats, and ensure peace and good

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The Week

Obama is ready to take on the Republicans — or at least a handful of boors in the audience at Republican debates.


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