Thomas Paine's Rights of Man [NOOK Book]


Christopher Hitchens, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of God Is Not Great has been called a Tom Paine for our times, and in this addition to the Books that Changed the World Series, he vividly introduces Paine and his Declaration of the Rights of Man, the world’s foremost defense of democracy. Inspired by his outrage at Edmund Burke’s attack on the French Revolution, Paine’s text is a passionate defense of man’s inalienable rights, and the key to his reputation. Ever since the day of publication in ...
See more details below
Thomas Paine's Rights of Man

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99 price
(Save 23%)$13.00 List Price


Christopher Hitchens, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of God Is Not Great has been called a Tom Paine for our times, and in this addition to the Books that Changed the World Series, he vividly introduces Paine and his Declaration of the Rights of Man, the world’s foremost defense of democracy. Inspired by his outrage at Edmund Burke’s attack on the French Revolution, Paine’s text is a passionate defense of man’s inalienable rights, and the key to his reputation. Ever since the day of publication in 1791, Declaration of the Rights of Man has been celebrated, criticized, maligned, suppressed, and co-opted, but in Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, Hitchens marvels at its forethought and revels in its contentiousness. Famous as a polemicist and provocative commentator, Hitchens is a political descendent of the great pamphleteer. In this engaging work he demonstrates how Thomas Paine’s book forms the philosophical cornerstone of the United States of America, and how “in a time when both rights and reason are under attack, the life and writing of Thomas Paine will always be part of the arsenal on which we shall need to depend.”
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Thomas Paine's critique of monarchy and introduction of the concept of human rights influenced both the French and the American revolutions, argues Vanity Faircontributor and bestselling author Hitchens (God Is Not Great) in this incisive addition to the Books That Changed the World series. Paine's ideas even influenced later independence movements among the Irish, Scots and Welsh. In this lucid assessment, Hitchens notes that in addition to Common Sense's influence on Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, Paine wrote in unadorned prose that ordinary people could understand. Hitchens reads Paine's rejection of the ministrations of clergy in his dying moments as an instance of his unyielding commitment to the cause of rights and reason. But Hitchens also takes Paine to task for appealing to an idealized state of nature, a rhetorical move that, Hitchens charges, posits either "a mythical past or an unattainable future" and, Hitchens avers, "disordered the radical tradition thereafter." Hitchens writes in characteristically energetic prose, and his aversion to religion is in evidence, too. Young Paine found his mother's Anglican orthodoxy noxious, Hitchens notes: "Freethinking has good reason to be grateful to Mrs Paine." (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
O rare Tom Paine! Prolific political pundit Hitchens (God Is Not Great, 2007, etc.) sizes up the "self-taught corset-maker and bridge-designer" who fomented rebellion across the world two centuries ago. Paine's Rights of Man-the ostensible center of this entry in Atlantic's Books That Changed the World series-was, writes Hitchens, "both a trumpet of inspiration and a carefully wrought blueprint for a more rational and decent ordering of society," as well as "an attempt to marry the ideas of the American and French Revolutions" with the aim of introducing them to Britain. Of course, America and France found manifold ways to shake off revolutionary rationality, and Paine quickly found himself a prophet without honor, even if William Pitt allowed that Paine was of course right. (Pitt added, though, that to encourage Paine's opinions would be to invite revolution indeed.) Antimonarchical but at once radical and conservative-for instance, Paine "often wrote of economic inequalities as if they were natural or inevitable," and he resisted the atheism of the French Revolution-Rights of Man asserted a few contradictions and foreshadowed, in some ways, the notion of a dictatorship of the proletariat, but it also pressed for a certain wide-ranging species of liberty, against which Hitchens contrasts Edmund Burke, whose own ideas of equality and liberty turned on the presence of a hereditary king. Paine's vigorous and plain prose, Hitchens observes, has been taken as evidence of an uncouth nature, but Paine's ideas were elevated, and of course widely influential-reverberating, in time, in the labor movement, women's suffrage and Franklin Roosevelt's famous speech after Pearl Harbor. Paine, asHitchens notes in this lucid and fast-moving appreciation, has no proper memorial anywhere; this slender book makes a good start. Less exuberant than Tom Collins's essential book The Trouble with Tom (2005). Still, as with all Hitchens, well worth reading and arguing with.
From the Publisher
"Brilliant portrait.... An attractive introduction to Paine's life and work as a whole.... Hitchens remains a great writer, and a thinker of depth, range and vigour." —-Prospect
The Barnes & Noble Review
The London Independent once called polemicist Christopher Hitchens "a Tom Paine for our troubled times," and while the appropriateness of the moniker is debatable, the choice of Hitchens to write on Paine's Rights of Man in the Atlantic Monthly Press's Books That Changed the World series is a good one. (Other volumes in the collection include the ubiquitous Karen Armstrong on the Bible and P. J. O'Rourke, oddly enough, on Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations.)

Hitchens's principal qualification for this gig is not so much a resemblance to Paine as his nice ability to see beyond historical clichés and platitudes. The debate between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine over the French Revolution has over the last two centuries come to be thought of as the prototype of all arguments between conservatives and radicals. But as Hitchens points out, it was more truly a conflict between a liberal and a radical. Burke, who championed the American colonists in their struggle for independence, criticized the slave trade, sympathized with the oppressed Irish Catholics, and fought against the depredations of the British East India Company, was a classic liberal whose 1790 attack on the French Revolution, Reflections on the Revolution in France, came as a real shock to his left-wing political cronies. Paine's Rights of Man was a direct response to Burke's counterrevolutionary screed.

Hitchens correctly defines the "project" of Rights of Man as "in the first instance an attempt to marry the ideas of the American and French Revolutions, and in the second instance an attempt to disseminate these ideas in Britain." Paine strongly objected to what Hitchens calls Burke's "end of history" view, the idea that Britain's Glorious Revolution of 1688 had produced a close-to-perfect system of constitutional monarchy that should not be further meddled with. For Paine, revolution was ongoing if not permanent: "Little ebbings and flowings, for and against, the natural companions of revolutions, sometimes appear, but the full current of it is, in my opinion, as fixed as the Gulf Stream."

In response to Burke's sentimental defense of the doomed Marie-Antoinette, Paine famously attacked the principle of all hereditary monarchy. "I have always considered monarchy to be a silly, contemptible thing," he wrote provocatively. "I compare it to something kept behind a curtain, about which there is a great deal of bustle and fuss, and a wonderful air of seeming solemnity, but when, by an accident, the curtain happens to open and the company see what it is, they burst into laughter" -- an image picked up many years later by L. Frank Baum in his Wizard of Oz. Aristocratic titles Paine scorned as nothing but "nick-names": "The thing is perfectly harmless in itself, but it marks a sort of foppery in the human character, which degrades it."

In his famous pamphlet Common Sense (1775) and other writings of the same period, Paine had goaded the American revolutionaries to be more radical, but as the French Revolution progressed and became increasingly sanguinary, he urged moderation. Much as he disliked hereditary monarchy, he disapproved of the execution of Louis XVI and his wife on principle, enjoining the revolutionaries to "punish by instruction, not revenge." Louis, a citizen like any other, should be given a proper trial. "An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty," Paine insisted. "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his own enemy from repression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

Paine's own experiences proved the truth of this contention. The huge success of Part One of Rights of Man, with its call for the French Revolution to spread all over Europe, aroused the animus of Prime Minister William Pitt's government, and in 1792 Paine fled to France. He was given what Hitchens describes as a "show trial" in absentia and convicted, but the popular demonstrations in his favor showed that the book had hit its mark. In France, Paine was honored and made a député, or member of Parliament, but events had already begun to spiral out of control -- just as Burke had predicted! -- and Paine, like so many friends of the Revolution, soon found himself thrown into prison; he narrowly escaped the guillotine during the Terror. In 1802, he was welcomed back to the United States by his old friend Thomas Jefferson, now the president.

In 1793, Paine had written to Jefferson, "Had this Revolution been conducted consistently with its principles, there was once a good prospect of extending liberty through the greatest part of Europe; but I now relinquish that hope." Burke could have said "I told you so." But the degeneration of the Revolution into the Terror and the subsequent rise of Napoleon Bonaparte were not inevitable, as Hitchens reminds us: "Had there been no guillotine and no Bonaparte in the immediate future of France, Paine's rebuke to Burke might have been studied to this day as a proof of the superiority of the Enlightenment and of radicalism over the hidebound attachment to tradition, faith and order."

Like so many passionate democrats, Paine had too high a regard for the common will and mass judgment. "The greatest characters the world have known, have rose on the democratic floor," he insisted. "Aristocracy has not been able to keep a proportionate pace with democracy. The artificial NOBLE shrinks into a dwarf before the NOBLE of nature." One need only take a look at today's prominent American politicians to see that this is untrue -- or at least, that as many criminals and fools are regularly elevated to high office under a democracy as under a monarchy. Hitchens might have pointed that out, but does not. But then, his mandate is clearly to praise Paine rather than to question him too deeply, and indeed the brief format of the Books That Changed the World series does not really allow for any extended critique. It calls instead for an introduction and companion volume to the great book in question, and this Hitchens has produced with his usual flair. --Brooke Allen

Brooke Allen is the author of Twentieth-Century Attitudes; Artistic License; and Moral Minority. She is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The New Criterion, The New Leader, The Hudson Review, The Nation, and more.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555849276
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/16/2008
  • Series: Books That Changed the World
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 384,407
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens, a celebrated author and critic, is the author of Why Orwell Matters and Thomas Jefferson: Author of America.

Simon Vance has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. He is also the recipient of five coveted Audie Awards, including one for The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, and he was named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Thomas Paine's Rights of Man

A Biography

Atlantic Monthly Press

Copyright © 2006 Christopher Hitchens
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-87113-955-9

Chapter One

Paine in America

To begin with a summary of Paine's astonishing life and career is to commence with a sense of wonder that he was ever able to emerge at all. A favourite poem of the mid-eighteenth century was Thomas Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard', and I find it impossible to think about Paine without revisiting this masterpiece of the might-have-been:

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands that the rod of empire might have sway'd, Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre: But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll; Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage, And froze the genial current of the soul. Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast The little tyrant of his fields withstood; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.

Gray, of course, does not omit to remind us that many latent absolutists and torturers have also gone to nameless dust without fulfilling their potential. His poem is not a work of mere sentiment. But when General Wolfe lay dying on the Plains of Abraham above Quebec in 1759, having defeated the French and having forever altered the destiny of the North American continent, he is supposed to have said that he would rather have composed Gray's Elegy than won this historic victory. That year, the son of Joseph and Frances Pain was just fifteen, and living a highly unpromising life in the bucolic town of Thetford, in deep East Anglia. Joseph was a corset-maker (a 'staymaker' in the idiom of the day) and a Quaker who had married the daughter of an Anglican lawyer. Young Thomas, sometimes known as Tom, did not add the 'e' to the family name until he emigrated to America in 1774. (I shall from now on follow the example of Professor A. J. Ayer and call him 'Thomas Paine' throughout.) But that was not the first time that he had run away.

Young Thomas's first bolt for freedom came at the age of sixteen, when he fled the confining apprenticeship to his father's staymaking business and made his way to the east coast of England, at Harwich, where he followed immemorial tradition by trying to go to sea. Later writers of stirring fiction for boys might have hesitated to invent a ship called The Terrible, commanded by a certain Captain Death, but such was the vessel, and such the master and commander, that might have carried this particular boy out of history. Joseph Pain arrived at the quayside in time to prevent his son's enlistment on the privateer, whether out of Quaker principle or because of a reluctance to part with an apprentice it is not known, and the lad returned to the indentures of corsetdom for another three years before heading seaward again in 1756. The Seven Years War between the British and French empires had begun, and this time he managed to get himself signed on, by Captain Mendez of the good ship King of Prussia. He lasted only a short time in this employment, seeing some action in the coastal and Channel waters and discovering that flying splinters could be as deadly as cannonballs, before evidently deciding that the war - which was eventually to precipitate revolution in both America and France - was not for him. He took his prize money - naval warfare at that date was still semi-piratical - and went to London to try and improve himself.

We cannot know for certain the fermentation that was at work within him, but there are three possible sources for it. The first was his upbringing. His father's Quakerism, for which Paine retained a lifelong respect, would have represented quite a strong form of dissent in the England of the day, and especially in a quasi-feudal town like Thetford, dominated by the Duke of Grafton. Quakers and other nonconformists kept alive another tradition - that of the English Revolution that had culminated in the execution of the impious King Charles I in 1649. At grammar school, Paine refused Latin lessons on his father's orders, Latin being the obscurantist official tongue of the throne and the popish altar. He concentrated instead on the English of Milton and Bunyan: the bards of the 'good old cause' of the Commonwealth. (One of Milton's most essential lines, 'By the known rules of ancient liberty', looked back to an innate freedom that predated kingship and nobility.)

A paradoxical reinforcement of this dissent came from compulsory Bible study at school, supplemented by instruction from Paine's Anglican mother. He was later to say that he found the teachings of Christianity, especially the human-sacrifice element in the story of the crucifixion, repellent from the start. Freethinking has good reason to be grateful to Mrs Pain for her efforts.

A second influence may have been the time that Paine spent on the lower deck of the King of Prussia. As Patrick O'Brian's remarkable seafaring novels remind us, the crews of the Royal Navy were full of nonconformist enthusiasts, who may have fought for the Crown at sea but who were Levellers and Republicans on land. Third - and much better documented - we can trace the influence of the London scene. A new class of literate artisans was making its appearance, much influenced by the thirst for knowledge and by the scientific innovations of the period. Paine became a habitué of the working-man's lecture hall and the freethinker's tavern, where enthusiastic discussion groups were the yeast for self-improvement and political reform.

This didn't give Paine a living, however, and the next few years of his life remind one of Saul Bellow's Augie March, for whom the laconic term 'various jobs' provided the 'Rosetta Stone' of his life. In 1758 he moved to the Channel port of Sandwich and became a staymaker after all. There he attended Wesleyan meetings and took part in the zealous Methodist promotion of 'good works' and charity. He met and married a serving girl named Mary Lambert, daughter of an Excise officer or Customs official, but in 1760 she died, with her baby, in childbirth. It was back to Thetford for Paine, where with some help from the local Grafton magnates he sat the examination to become an Excise officer himself. By 1764 he had been given a post of responsibility on the North Sea coast, stamping goods for duty and watching for smugglers. He suffered dismissal after a year or so, having allegedly stamped some bales without properly inspecting them. This reverse sent him back to London to petition the Commissioners of the Excise for reinstatement. This was granted after he submitted a grovelling letter; it was evident that he was not suspected of having taken any bribe. But reinstatement did not mean immediate reappointment, and for a while Paine had to subsist on what he could get for teaching poor children. This second period in London was to be decisive in his life, however, because he renewed acquaintance with one of his old lecturers, the painter and astronomer James Ferguson, and through him was introduced to Benjamin Franklin, a man who personified the alliance between scientific inquiry and free thought.

Exigency still drove Paine and, although he had the nerve to decline the next offer he had from the Excise - a post in a remote part of Cornwall - in 1768 he finally accepted a position at the Customs house in the Sussex town of Lewes, on the south coast. Here, he began to emerge as a figure in his own right. The town was small but like many seaports it had an open mind, and the radical tradition was deep-rooted there. At the White Hart tavern, Paine became a notable member of the Headstrong Club, which combined spirited dining with spirited debating, and also of the local council. He took lodgings with Samuel Ollive, a well-liked local tobacconist, and on his death in 1769 succeeded to proprietorship of the business. Two years later, he married the old man's daughter, Elizabeth. He might, if the marriage had lasted, have become a well-found and humorous Whig: a red-faced local 'character', fond of a drop of brandy, with a fund of anecdote and a reputation as a bit of a rebel.

Instead, he literally talked his way out of such a fate. When the Excise men of the south coast decided to protest at their abysmal wage and to seek redress from Parliament, they bethought themselves of the eloquent debater and sometime lay-preacher Thomas Paine, and invited him to be their advocate and spokesman. He agreed to write the Excise men's petition, and to travel to London to lobby for their cause. He was then kept hanging about in many an establishment anteroom over the winter of 1772-3, and victimized for his pertinacity by receiving yet another notice of dismissal from the Excise Commission. Meanwhile, the tobacco shop in Lewes failed in his absence, and his marriage expired in circumstances that are not clear. Paine was no ladies' man, we know, and he acted with a generosity to his wife that may have indicated an urgent desire to be gone. He settled up in Lewes, went back to London, and presented himself to Benjamin Franklin.

This distinguished gentleman, who had been in London as a representative of the American colonies, had recently had his own patriotism sorely tested. Attempting to redress some of the more obvious injustices of Britain's rule over the thirteen colonies, he had been very roughly handled at committee hearings in Parliament and accused, in effect, of being a subversive. The long stupidity of King George's policy could have been designed to make English Americans into revolutionaries, though it had not yet had quite that effect. Franklin - the discoverer of the lightning-rod, and of the connection between lightning and electricity - gave Paine advice that could be summarized in the later slogan, 'Go West, Young Man'. Franklin went further, and equipped him with a letter of introduction to his son William, who was then the Governor of New Jersey, and to his son-in-law Richard Bache, an underwriter in Philadelphia. It read:

The bearer Mr Thomas Pain is very well recommended to me as an ingenious worthy young man. He goes to Pennsylvania with a view of settling there. I request you to give him your best advice and countenance, as he is quite a stranger there. If you can put him in a way of obtaining employment as a clerk, or assistant tutor in a school, or assistant surveyor (in all of which I think him very capable,) so that he may procure a subsistence at least, till he can make acquaintance and obtain a knowledge of the country, you will do well, and much oblige your affectionate father.

That was a slightly tepid recommendation, perhaps - Franklin's acquaintance with the young man was not a long or a deep one - but it was enough. In September 1774 Paine took ship for Philadelphia. Once again, he was almost lost to history by an outbreak of either typhus or scurvy on board, and had to be carried ashore on a stretcher. This was a shaky start to an immense redress in the New World, this time one imported from the Old.

For the first time in his life, Paine was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Philadelphia was the capital of a state - Pennsylvania - that had been founded by the Quaker William Penn. It was hospitable to every form of religious and political dissent, and as we have seen from the example of Priestley, Franklin and others, a magnet city for those who wished to pursue scientific inquiry. It boasted several excellent bookstores and contained many tavern-based discussion groups where a veteran of the White Hart at Lewes could prove himself. Paine had hardly begun his acquaintance with this exciting town when he met Robert Aitken, a bookstore proprietor who was hoping to start a new publication, The Pennsylvania Journal. He almost at once invited Paine to take on the managing editorship. In the first issue, Paine proved himself a natural journalist by writing an editorial which managed to extract good copy from his awful experience on the Atlantic crossing:

Degeneracy here is almost a useless word. Those who are conversant with Europe would be tempted to believe that even the air of the Atlantic disagrees with the constitution of foreign vices; if they survive the voyage, they either expire on their arrival, or linger away in an incurable consumption. There is a happy something which disarms them of all their power both of infection and attraction.

I have not been able to discover whether Paine was writing this in conscious opposition to the most illustrious European natural scientist of his day, the Comte de Buffon, who stoutly maintained that the very atmosphere of America was conducive to cretinism in man and beast. (Thomas Jefferson, then unknown to Paine, was to compose his Notes on the State of Virginia partly as a reply to Buffon's theories.) At any rate, he approached his new country with all the zeal of a new convert and enthusiast.

By the time of Paine's disembarkation, the colonial crisis in relations with the British motherland was already mounting. In order to pay for the expenses of the Seven Years War, which had removed the French military presence, London had imposed new taxes on the supposedly grateful colonies, and had furthermore decided to use these colonies as a dumping-ground for surplus products from elsewhere in the Empire - most famously the tea of the East India Company. In most minds, this was still a quarrel within the family. Men like Samuel Adams in Boston, Thomas Jefferson in Virginia and Benjamin Franklin, shuttling between London and Pennsylvania, were committed to protecting their rights as freeborn Englishmen under the Crown. But Crown policy, like a brittle antique sword, was dull and inflexible, and insisted upon taxation without representation.

Throughout 1775, Paine used a number of pseudonyms - 'Atlanticus' and 'Amicus' - to produce a stream of articles. By no means starry-eyed about his new homeland, he was swift in his denunciation of the slave trade, which maintained an open market in human beings in Philadelphia itself. 'That some desperate wretches should be willing to steal and enslave men by violence and murder for gain, is rather lamentable than strange. But that many civilized, nay, Christianized people should approve, and be concerned in the savage practice, is surprising.' He announced himself an abolitionist, and became a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. He also found the time to reflect upon a system of welfare for the young, and pensions for the old, that was unique for its time and which will recur as the story proceeds.

In April 1775 a small but deep trench of blood was filled, between British and American forces, at the battles of Lexington and Concord. From this point onwards, the dispute between Crown and colonists ceased to be fraternal and became fratricidal. Paine was readier than most to advocate separation and independence: his own experience of being 'English' had not been that of a gentleman farmer or protected tradesman, but rather that of an ill-used civil servant. By September he had published a song entitled - what else? - 'The Liberty Tree'. Greatly inferior to the work of Joseph Mather, its concluding verse went:

But hear, O ye swains ('tis a tale most profane), How all the tyrannical powers, King, Commons and Lords, are uniting amain To cut down this guardian of ours. From the East to the West blow the trumpet to arms, Thro' the land let the sound of it flee: Let the far and the near all unite with a cheer, In defense of our Liberty Tree.

He began to speak openly of independence, taking care to phrase his convictions in quasi-biblical tones. 'Call it independence or what you will,' he wrote, 'if it is the cause of God and humanity it will go on. And when the Almighty shall have blest us, and made us a people dependent only on him, then may our first gratitude be shown by an act of continental legislation, which shall put a stop to the importation of Negroes for sale, soften the hard fate of those already here, and in time procure their freedom.' ('Continental' was the rather grand name that the colonists had given to their Congress, with its thirteen state delegations. At the time, America was to the northern continent rather what Chile is to the southern one - a long ribbon of territory extending down the littoral of an ocean, and hemmed in by mountains on the landward side. But there was a latent ambition to add at least British Canada to the tally of independent states, as well as to expand into the interior.)


Excerpted from Thomas Paine's Rights of Man by CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS Copyright © 2006 by Christopher Hitchens. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


1 Paine in America....................19
2 Paine in Europe....................47
3 Rights of Man, Part One....................69
4 Rights of Man, Part Two....................110
5 The Age of Reason....................123
Conclusion: Paine's Legacy....................135
Further reading....................147
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Thought Christopher Hitchens Book was very absorbing

    I enjoy the authors style and apparent knowledge of a great deal of historical fact. Understanding he probably had access research assistance to help the facr is he was able to tie together many historical facts to a theme and make a truly great book

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    A great book over a great patriot. Adams was quoted as saying, "With out the pen of the author of Common Sense, Washington's sword would have been drawn in vain."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2012

    Hitch as always

    Hitchens' prose is, as always, energetic and gripping.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)