Rights of Man

By Thomas Paine
Read by Bernard Mayes

10.20 Hours 12/01/1998 unabridged
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Written in the late eighteenth century as a reply to Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution, Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man is unquestionably one of the great classics on the subject of democracy. A vindication of the French Revolution and a critique of the British system of government, it defended the dignity of the common man in all countries against those who would discard him as one of the “swinish multitude.”     Paine created a language of modern politics that brought important issues to the working classes. Employing direct, vehement prose, Paine defends popular rights, national independence, revolutionary war, and economic growth—all of which were considered, at the time, to be dangerous and even seditious issues. His vast influence is due in large measure to his eloquent literary style, noted for its poignant metaphors, vigor, and rational directness.

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Summary

Summary

Written in the late eighteenth century as a reply to Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution, Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man is unquestionably one of the great classics on the subject of democracy. A vindication of the French Revolution and a critique of the British system of government, it defended the dignity of the common man in all countries against those who would discard him as one of the “swinish multitude.”    

Paine created a language of modern politics that brought important issues to the working classes. Employing direct, vehement prose, Paine defends popular rights, national independence, revolutionary war, and economic growth—all of which were considered, at the time, to be dangerous and even seditious issues. His vast influence is due in large measure to his eloquent literary style, noted for its poignant metaphors, vigor, and rational directness.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“I know not whether any man in the world has had more influence on its inhabitants or affairs for the last thirty years than Tom Paine.” John Adams, 1805
“Thomas Paine earned lasting fame as one of history’s most powerful and persuasive writers…He wrote robust, plain, emotionally intense English that crystallized thought and galvanized into action the common people of America, Great Britain, and France…His Rights of Man, pleading for natural rights and republican principles, won for him admirers throughout the Western world.” Masterpieces of World Literature

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (1737–1809) was a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, liberal, intellectual, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in Great Britain, he emigrated to America at the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin just in time to promote the American Revolution with his powerful, widely read pamphlet, Common Sense. Later, he was a great influence on the French Revolution. He wrote Rights of Man as a guide to the ideas of the Enlightenment. Despite an inability to speak French, he was elected to the French National Assembly in 1792. Regarded as an ally of the Girondists, he was seen with increasing disfavor by the Montagnards and in particular by Robespierre. He was arrested in Paris and imprisoned in December 1793; he was released in 1794. He became notorious with his book, The Age of Reason, which advocated deism and took issue with Christian doctrines. While in France, he also wrote a pamphlet titled Agrarian Justice, which discussed the origins of property and introduced a concept that is similar to a guaranteed minimum income. He remained in France until 1802, when he returned to America on an invitation from Thomas Jefferson, who had been elected president.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Runtime: 10.20
Audience: Adult
Language: English