The Rights of Man

The Rights of Man

3.7 27
by Thomas Paine
     
 

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Rights of Man presents an impassioned defense of the Enlightenment principles of freedom and equality that Thomas Paine believed would soon sweep the world. He boldly claimed, "From a small spark, kindled in America, a flame has arisen, not to be extinguished. Without consuming ... it winds its progress from nation to nation." Though many more

Overview

Rights of Man presents an impassioned defense of the Enlightenment principles of freedom and equality that Thomas Paine believed would soon sweep the world. He boldly claimed, "From a small spark, kindled in America, a flame has arisen, not to be extinguished. Without consuming ... it winds its progress from nation to nation." Though many more sophisticated thinkers argued for the same principles and many people died in the attempt to realize them, no one was better able than Paine to articulate them in a way which fired the hopes and dreams of the common man and actually stirred him to revolutionary political action.

About the Author:
A participant in both the American and French Revolutions and in the governments that first arose from them, Thomas Paine is best remembered as the highly popular pamphleteer whose incendiary Common Sense was largely responsible for motivating the American colonists to declare independence. He was born in England on January 29, 1737, and his impoverished early life offered scant evidence of the qualities that would later elevate him to literary and historical prominence. Taking the first available opportunity to improve his lot, he moved to America in 1775, coincidentally arriving at the time when revolutionary fervor was just taking hold.

Editorial Reviews

Juan Luis Sanchez University of California
"Perhaps no political treatise is more important to the development of modern political thought and yet so often misread than Thomas Paine's Rights of Man. Claire Grogan's comprehensively annotated edition of this classic text corrects the problem of decontextualized readings by not only reviving the tumultuous political debates with which Paine engaged, but also by distinguishing the unique style, argument, and overall significance of this revolutionary tract. With a critical yet lively introduction, this edition of Rights of Man is indispensable to anyone interested in understanding the development of 1790s radical thought and its relevance today."
From the Publisher

“Perhaps no political treatise is more important to the development of modern political thought and yet so often misread than Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man. Claire Grogan’s comprehensively annotated edition of this classic text corrects the problem of decontextualized readings by not only reviving the tumultuous political debates with which Paine engaged, but also by distinguishing the unique style, argument, and overall significance of this revolutionary tract. With a critical yet lively introduction, this edition of Rights of Man is indispensable to anyone interested in understanding the development of 1790s radical thought and its relevance today.” — Juan Luís Sánchez, University of California, Los Angeles

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940000753873
Publisher:
B&R Samizdat Express
Publication date:
01/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
783,224
File size:
601 KB

Meet the Author

English-born Thomas Paine left behind hearth and home for adventures on the high seas at nineteen. Upon returning to shore, he became a tax officer, and it was this job that inspired him to write The Case of the Officers of Excise in 1772. Paine then immigrated to Philadelphia, and in 1776 he published Common Sense, a defense of American independence from England. After returning to Europe, Paine wrote his famous Rights of Man as a response to criticism of the French Revolution. He was subsequently labeled as an outlaw, leading him to flee to France where he joined the National Convention. However, in 1793 Paine was imprisoned, and during this time he wrote the first part of The Age of Reason, an anti-church text which would go on to be his most famous work. After his release, Paine returned to America where he passed away in 1809.

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The Rights of Man 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
CharlesSage More than 1 year ago
While Paine's goal was to defend the French Revolution as it took place, he also provides, perhaps unwittingly, a treatise on natural rights that governments should and must respect if they are to have any legitimacy. He also covers what it means to be a government and where the true power lies. A great plain-language text that is still relevant today, Rights of Man is a must read for anyone interested in some of the theory behind the Constitutional debates in our own country 200+ years ago.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One might assume that a book on political philosophy promises to be a rather dry read, but, aside from a foray into English tax reform in Part Two, this is largely not the case for Rights of Man. Paine's work remains immenitely readable. It was fascinating to read the case for so many of the central principles of American democracy. Many of these principles, including democracy, political equality, liberty, and the separation of church and state we accept as given, and hardly take the time to examine theri foundation. Paine is writing in a time when these ideas were actively being debated.
donrawfulguy More than 1 year ago
HAVING DIFFICULTY STAYING WITH THIS BOOK
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In short, freedom isn't free.
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