Rights of Man (Penguin Classics)

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9780140390155: Rights of Man (Penguin Classics)
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One of the great classics on democracy, Rights of Man was published in England in 1791 as a vindication of the French Revolution and a critique of the British system of government. In direct, forceful prose, Paine defends popular rights, national independence, revolutionary war, and economic growth - all considered dangerous and even seditious issues. In his introduction Eric Foner presents an overview of Paine's career as political theorist and pamphleteer, and supplies essential background material to Rights of Man. He discusses how Paine created a language of modern politics that brought important issues to the common man and the working classes and assesses the debt owed to Paine by the American and British radical traditions.

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Review:

Paine's book-length essay in political philosophy is primarily a polemic aimed at Edmund Burke's 1790 'Reflections on the French Revolution', which criticised that revolt as savage and illegal. David Rintoul narrates it as a polemic, sounding by turns coldly angry, cuttingly sarcastic, and excitedly partisan, as well as reasonable when Paine expresses his approval for the revolutions in America and France. Paine's elegantly clear writing, though aimed at the common man demands thought and attention; Rontoul's precise, animated, articulate reading helps the listener follow it. Though Paine was wrong about the nature of the French Revolution and the incorruptibility of republics, his ideas about the rights and freedoms of citizens are still germane--and still radical. Rintoul delivers them with intelligent passion. --Audio File 2008

He gives Edmund Burke a rich plummy reading. Paine's voice is incisive and direct. Although some of the text is dry (the section on finances, for example), most is filled with reason, logic and irony. These are eternal words of wisdom from a man of principle. Today's politicians should read them again and again. --soundcommentary.com

From the Back Cover:

No individual's writing better exemplifies this transformation of the language of social and political change than that of Thomas Paine (1737-1809). And no individual has a better claim to be the world's first international revolutionary. His writings bear witness to his revolutionary activities, and provide us with a detailed picture of the evolving understanding of social and political change at the end of the eighteenth century.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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