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Extended Audio Sample Rights of Man, by Thomas Paine Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,217 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Paine Narrator: Bernard Mayes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download 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 Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Olivia | 2/11/2014

    " One of the Young Women I mentor at church was bumped up to AP English from the regular English track. Her first AP assignment was to read this book and write an analysis using specific templates. She was terrified and so I offered to read the book as well and hold her hand while she wrote the essay in hopes that she would realize as only Bob the Builder AND Barack Obama say best, "Yes, we can!". I did a fairly thorough reading of the first half of the book and a not-so-thorough reading of the second half. I have to admit, having the advantage of 20/20 hindsight made it difficult to read this. Paine wrote this as a response to Edmond Burke's pamphlet "Relections on the French Revolution". Burke was originally cautiously optimistic about the revolutionary actions in France, but quickly realized what was really going on and became an outspoken critic of the revolution. Paine thought Burke was an idiot for not wholly supporting the revolution and this book is his reasoning. Needless to say, Burke was 100% right and Paine just looks like a fool. I was going to be kind and give Paine 2 stars because of his role in the American Revolution, but then I read this, "By the universal economy of nature it is known, and by the instance of the Jews it is proved, that the human species has a tendency to degenerate, in any small number of persons, when separated from the general stock of society, and intermarrying constantly with each other." Can you believe that?? Paine was trying to compare intermarrying aristocrats in Europe with the Jews! That is just plain ugly bigotry, so now I can only give him one star. The sad part of this whole project is that the highschool kids were not required or asked to read any of Burke's pamphlet on the French Revolution. When I asked my mentee what she knew about the French Revolution, she didn't even know what I was talking about. The kids were not given the proper tools for this project. Not only are the kids missing out on some outstanding writing and reasoning, I'm curious how they are expected to give an even half-way decent analysis of Paine's writing with only half the story. This assignment has furthered my conviction that not only do the public schools have a morally bankrupt political agenda to advance, they are doing a piss poor job of actually educating. I feel sorry for the teachers who are caught in the middle of this garbage. When the time comes, my kid will read Burke along with his Paine! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 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 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 "

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