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Rights of Man and Common Sense (Everyman's Library) Hardcover – October 4, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library; Fifth Printing edition (October 4, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679433147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679433149
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Thomas Paine] accepted [no] definitions or frontiers, claiming to be the first of a new breed necessary to save mankind and womankind: a citizen of the world . . . Well beyond his own lifetime it was the power of his pen that restored his vision of the world as it might be . . . America made Thomas Paine–and he helped to make America.” –from the Introduction by Michael Foot

From the Inside Flap

Two works in one volume.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Comes with a dust jacket but the book is hardbound woven cloth - nice.
RenaissanceMan
God would be the spiritual King of this great Nation and no earthly King or Aristocracy would rule it.
Kevin Fuller
Anyone who wishes to understand American History, namely the Revolution, needs to read this book.
Matthew Sonn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RenaissanceMan TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I write Liberal I mean it in the traditional sense -- We're all liberals (free men/women) in America.

Before Common Sense, the American revolution was something that the elites talked about and academics thought about but after the publishing of Common Sense, every American of his time found himself with a deep fire in his heart and a profound love and understanding for inalienable human rights and how it utterly made zero sense for for there to be Kings and Queens on earth and how utterly dispicable it was to be ruled under such terms. It made us want to be free!

Common Sense set the American landscape on Rhetorical Fire. Deep concepts from such people as Locke and Brewster and all of these obscure thinkers bubbled up and were made utterly REAL by the firey words of Thomas Paine's pamphlet.

As relevant as back then, Common Sense is a must read book for every American today. If you wonder what it means to be an American, what it truly means to be an American regardless of race, color, creed, or anything -- read Thomas Paine's Common Sense - you will understand how the divine right of kings is flawed and how we must care for and govern ourselves on earth by rule of law and rule of human and how we must cherish, protect, and be ready to even fight and die for that idea and how living in any other state is not living at all.

Its a fascinating read. The second book Rights of Man is also very interesting but was targetted more at the French Revolution than at the American Public. Definitely worth reading but it's Common Sense that makes every member of government who has ever overextended his power or felt that government and the State as superior to the people -- Common Sense makes all of those people quiver in fear.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Sonn on October 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who wishes to understand American History, namely the Revolution, needs to read this book. These essays were crutial in the development of the revolutionary movement in America. Thomas Paine is a keynote figure in this time period and helped the American cause.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Siegel on January 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Let us, for a moment, forget the historical and literary importance of Right of Man and Common Sense. What if this book had just been published today? Would it still be worth reading? The answer is an unequival yes.
Althought many parts of this deal with specific issues of Paine's time (especially Rights of Man), even after two centuries, the writings of Thomas Paine are able to stoke the fires of liberty in the soul of the reader with their passion, their fierce logic and their unexpected humor.
Rights of Man comprises two long volumes written by Paine in response to English criticism of the French revolution. Although much that he says is ironic in light of events that occured after he penned these volumes, you can see the hope that the Revolution produced. He breaks government down to basic principles, pointing out the needs that government fulfills and the method by which they should be constructed. It is thought-provoking, even in the modern day and will make you look on politics of our own time with a new light. Rights of Man does drag a bit when Paine begins repeating himself, but it remains interesting and though-provoking.
But Common Sense is the real treat. The pamplet that set a continent on fire is -- this was a surprise -- a thrill to read. I found myself actually laughing at Paine's sarcasm and satire -- his way of taking monarchy and absolutism and exposing them for the ridiculuous constructions that they are.
Any student of history should read these volumes for their portrayal of late 18th century geopolitics. But you will find them to be unexpectedly entertaining.
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By J. Janssen on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Thomas Paine's contribution to the American Revolution, and to liberal political thought in general, cannot be denied. While I generally favor Everyman's Library editions, in this one case I would suggest you look at the Library of America's "Thomas Paine: Collected Writings" which is available for approximately the same amount of money, has comparable book binding qualities, and includes more of Paine's written output than does this edition (the only reason for my 4 star rating).

Paine was the original firebrand revolutionary, and a particular hero for those that feel American democracy has veered off track. Unlike, socialism's Marx/Engels, capitalism's Adam Smith, or the purist philosophers of the Enlightenment, Paine spoke in the voice of the common man rather than the didactic of class struggle or Darwinian economics. His populist publications roused the citizenry and emboldened more established political figures into taking separatist positions leading up to the war. However, those who try and conflate 18th century passions with contemporary political debate are treading in deep and treacherous waters. Much to the chagrin of those that would like to believe otherwise, the founding fathers cannot be easily pigeonholed into contemporary R vs. D political identities. It's very much an "up is down and down is up" reality. Paine, for example, spent most of the 1790's in France championing the French Revolution and famously became the arch foe of conservatism's founding father, British MoP Edmund Burke.
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