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Katy

Portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2010

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  • Thomas Paine's Rights of Man: A Biography: Books That Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (58)

    Thomas Paine was one of the greatest political propagandists in history. The Rights of Man, first published in 1791, is the key to his reputation. Inspired by his outrage at Edmund Burke's attack on the uprising of the French people, Paine's text is a passionate defense of the rights of man. Paine argued against monarchy and outlined the elements of a successful republic, including public education, pensions, and relief of the poor and unemployed, all financed by income tax.

    Mimi says: "Exciting July Fourth Listening! Wow!"
    "Good, but not exactly what I expected."
    Overall

    I picked this up after hearing Thomas Paine's unwavering irreligious convictions referred to by Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins in their atheist literature. Unfortunately there was not as much information in this vein as I'd hoped, though the last chapter(s?) did recount his later life when his religious views came into sharper focus. Mostly this was interesting in terms of American/British history, and the history of philosophy about human rights.

    As others have noted, it is occasionally difficult to tell where a quotation ends and the main text resumes; but genterally the narration is expemplary with some very nice Scottish brogue thrown in for spice.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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