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Rights of Man (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – May 14, 1999
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“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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Paine and Burke were originally allies; Burke not only supported self-rule for the American colonies, he also supported the emancipation of the House of Commons from monarchical control and the independence of both Ireland and India. Many of his allies, then, were bewildered by his fervent opposition to the French Revolution; Burke drew the line between territorial autonomy from a distant or aloof government and the total overthrow of existing monarchies and institutions. For Burke, humankind's real enemies were drastic change and "unsocial, uncivil, unconnected chaos," and he proved himself a staunch defender of the status quo, of precedent, and of gradual reform.
Jerry Muller, in his recent--and superb--book "The Mind and the Market" asserts that Burke's denunciation of the French revolution is "the single most influential work of conservative thought published from his day to ours." (This, of course, depends on what one means by "conservative.") Yet Muller and likeminded historians inevitably cherry-pick Burke's more attractive economic and philosophical arguments and foreground Burke's critique, in Muller's words, "of the revolutionary mentality that attempts to create entirely new structures on the basis of rational, abstract principles." (Muller doesn't even mention Paine, much less the example of the United States.) Such a focus inevitably sidesteps Burke's brief for the supremacy of European monarchical institutions and of the landed aristocracy. And that's where Paine comes in.Read more ›
Here a shortened version.
1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
2. The aim of all political association is the preservation of the ... rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
3. The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. ...
4. Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; ... These limits can only be determined by law.
5. Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.
6. Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. ...
7. No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. ...
8.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My husband and I found this book to be very insightful regarding the philosophy behind the American Revolution.Published 10 days ago by Emily Dickenson
A journal out of the most important times I think since the renaissance!Published 1 month ago by Craig Sugarman
This book written as a response to Edmund Burke's critical pamphlet on the French Revolution . It offers a full throated denunciation of monarchies, aristocracies and a kind review... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Trainman95630
Another incisive mind tackling a difficult subject. Requires deliberate reading.Published 2 months ago by Capt. Tom
Overshadowed by Common Sense, in my opinion this is Paine's best work.Published 3 months ago by Drew C. Kimzey
Should be required reading for those who imagine self government may be a good idea...
as opposed to totalitarianism.
Quality book that arrived in a timely way and in an as-advertised condition. Thanks.Published 6 months ago by thomas e.