Over the last few years, historians have discovered human rights and proposed new interpretations of their history and their relationship to the Cold War. Far from proposing a linear and triumphalist history, the recent historiography on human puts their contradictions and ambiguities under the spotlight. This review essay shows some shared ideas within the recent wave of scholarship. First, it seems to abandon legal history to develop a dialogue with political history, international relations history, and transnational history. Second, it redefines and complicates the history of the Cold War, proposing some intersections and convergences between two different bodies of scholarship that, so far, had little contacts. This new scholarship has, however, a few limits that could bring a new triumphalist approach to human rights history.
Keywords: Human rights, Cold war, Last Utopia, historiography, triumphalism, 1970s