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  • Published: 15 August 1994
  • ISBN: 9781857151893
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 360
  • RRP: $22.99

The Rights Of Man And Common Sense



Tom Paine is celebrated for the part he played in both the American and French Revolutions. Though an Englishman by birth, he reacted violently against the political order of eighteenth-century England and in favour of radical reform. So well thought of was he outside Great Britain that he became a distinguished public figure in both France and the United States. RIGHTS OF MAN and COMMON SENSE are the two short books in which he elaborates his political and social theories in vivid, simple prose which can still be read with pleasure and excitement today. These are among the foundling texts of the radical tradition in America and Western Europe.

  • Published: 15 August 1994
  • ISBN: 9781857151893
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 360
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England, in 1737, the son of a staymaker. He had little schooling and worked at a number of jobs, including tax collector, a position he lost for agitating for an increase in excisemen's pay. Persuaded by Benjamin Franklin, he emigrated to America in 1774. In 1776 he began his American Crisis series of thirteen pamphlets, and also published the incalculably influential Common Sense, which established Paine not only as a truly revolutionary thinker, but as the American Revolution's fiercest political theorist. In 1787 Paine returned to Europe, where he became involved in revolutionary politics.

In England his books were burned by the public hangman. Escaping to France, Paine took part in drafting the French constitution and voted against the king's execution. He was imprisoned for a year and narrowly missed execution himself. In 1802 he returned to America and lived in New York State, poor, ill and largely despised for his extremism and so-called atheism (he was in fact a deist). Thomas Paine died in 1809. His body was exhumed by William Cobbett, and the remains were taken to England for a memorial burial. Unfortunately, the remains were subsequently lost.

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