Friday, October 05, 2007

Thomas Paine's Rights of Man: A Biographyby Christopher Hitchens [Books That Changed the World]

Paine’s great work was required reading in several classes for my BA in Political Science, but I have not read it since. I only wish I had this handy biography of Paine and the extensive commentary of The Rights of Man, Common Sense, and The Age of Reason. Hitchens does a good job of explicating the connections between Paine and the events in England, France, and America during his life. I also found particularly interesting the elucidation of the conflicts and concurrences with Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France.
I would recommend this as an excellent introduction to an actual reading of Paine’s works. We certainly can use a dose of Paine now, considering the state of our nation. An inclusion of all Paine's texts would have made this book perfect. 4-1/2 stars
--Chiron, 10/5/2007

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