Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Written in the late 18th century as a reply to Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, 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.

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 pamphlet Common Sense. Later, he was a great influence on the French Revolution. He wrote The Rights of Man as a guide to the ideas of the Enlightenment.

©Public Domain (P)1990 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

“I know not whether any man in the world has had more influence on its inhabitants or affairs for the last 30 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)

What listeners say about The Rights of Man

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Does not disappoint

Passes my personal test for a great work - not only has it changed the world, but also it remains radical enough to challenge us today.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aces Tweakmule
  • Aces Tweakmule
  • 19-01-21

Essential Reading for Thinking Americans

Absolutely required reading at this point in U.S. history. Thomas Paine shows us where the very foundations of freedom, liberty, and democracy were poured and how powerful one man with his vote really is. .....U need to hear this.... his writing style is bold, highly intelligent, flowing, tongue-in-check, and hilarious at times. He has no regard for monarchs or tyrants whatsoever.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for H Lusk
  • H Lusk
  • 02-10-20

Paine is timely, reading is excellent.

Paine is still radical and relevant more than two centuries later. This reading is clear, animated, and appropriate to the content.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DM
  • DM
  • 29-09-20

great fun

if you like historical snack downs this is gold! Paine's response to Burkes book on the french revolution detailed in this book is awesome.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Travis
  • Travis
  • 11-12-20

poor recording quality

I liked the reader but the recording quality was atrocious. Otherwise it was a really nice listen.