Leo's Reviews > Rights of Man

Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
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Jan 29, 13

Read in February, 2009, read count: 1

In the Rights of Man, Thomas Paine offers a rebuke of Edmund Burke’s unflattering analysis of the French Revolution. Mr. Paine revisits the arguments for republicanism and liberty he wielded in the American Revolution to defend the early French Revolution. Few of Mr. Burke's arguments are directly addressed by Mr. Paine, there is a heavy selection bias in this rebuttal. I suggest that you can gain the most from this text by reading Mr. Burke’s work and recognizing the conversational nature of this kind of writing in the era. Mr. Paine's bias is an excellent expression of the intent of this work as a pamphlet defending new and radical ideas by employing sarcasm, wit and emotion in conjunction with clear and concise reasoning. In many ways the work is dampened by its contemporary perspective, leaving Mr. Paine without the benefit of hindsight and unconditionally praising a revolution which will shortly become very ugly. However, Mr. Paine’s place in history is not the originator of many of the ideas we hold dear, but an expounder who simplified those ideas and courageously rose to defend them.
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