Extended Audio Sample

Rights of Man Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Rights of Man, by Thomas Paine
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.94 (774 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Paine Narrator: Bernard Mayes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Audio Length: Release Date:
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

Listener Reviews

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Ben Nash | 2/18/2014

    " Good short biography of Paine. Made me interested enough in his life and works to check out a couple of the recommended biographies from the library. Perhaps it's because I had just read Hitchens' "god is not Great" that I felt he had a little too much of an agenda in this book. Then again, Paine was one of the free-thinking luminaries of his time, and Hitchens' certainly doesn't idolize him, pointing out his flaws in that regard as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Lauren | 2/8/2014

    " Fascinating account of a misunderstood figure integral to our history. And Hitch is erudite as always. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Daniel Jafari | 2/3/2014

    " the rights of men perfectly reflects the mastery of prose by deceased author Christopher Hitchens. he argues that Paine, true revolutionary to his core, proposed emancipation of men, and even advocated for abolition of slavery. a very good read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Mark | 1/6/2014

    " Christopher Hitchens was an admirer of Paine's and this short book is a great introduction to Paine's life and ideas. With "Common Sense" Paine wrote one of best selling books in history but all the money went toward buying supplies for Washington's troops. Paine loathed tyranny and denounced hereditary monarchy and the church as instruments for oppressing the potential of the common man. He also hated slavery and the deplorable treatment of Native Americans. His commitment to freedom was total. "

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About the Author
Author 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.

About the Narrator

Bernard Mayes is a teacher, administrator, corporate executive, broadcaster, actor, dramatist, and former international commentator on US culture. He is best known for his readings of historical classics.