- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
- ASIN: B001LF2HBI
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Thomas Paine's Rights of Man: A Biography (Books That Changed the World) Hardcover
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Top Customer Reviews
Two Englishmen famous for critical thinking, harking back to the ancient republican traditions of Levellers and Roundheads, drawn to America, sharp of tongue. It's a match made in, well, not heaven, but a good place.
Although subtitled "A Biography," it is more a review of Paine's place, and many innovations, in political thought. The biography is exciting enough. Paine, unlike his adversary Burke, was a freedom fighter, not just a talker; and (like Orwell, who gets the barest mention from Hitchens) one who learned firsthand that revolutions are not for sissies, and that revolutionary rhetoric is subject to power politics no less than the corruptions of the ancien regime.
Americans know Paine as author of "Common Sense," though we don't read it, and we are told about it as if it were not much more than a very effective recruiting speech, and Paine was merely a less sinister version of George Creel. He was, as Hitchens demonstrates, much more.
However, Hitchens as an Englishman (born) and antimonarchist is more interested in "The Rights of Man." "The great achievement of Paine," he says, "was to have introduced the discussion of human rights, and of their concomitant in democracy, to a large and often newly literate popular audience."
And to have stuck by his guns. Paine's ideas evolved through experience, but he never went off the rails the way so many of the American revolutionaries did.Read more ›
Thomas Paine hasn't yet received to the true recognition of his impacted on the rights of Man.
Hitchens goes a little way to rectify this puzzling issue.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hitchens as always is insightful and pulls no punches. It is a tragety that there will be no more, perhaps his notes and thoughts will be published by the family.Published 10 months ago by Jett Cat