The Routledge Guidebook to Paine's Rights of Man

1st Edition

Frances A Chiu

April 3, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 320 Pages
ISBN 9780415703925 - CAT# Y154520
Series: The Routledge Guides to the Great Books

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Upon publication in 1791-92, the two parts of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man proved to be both immensely popular and highly controversial. An immediate bestseller, it not only defended the French revolution but also challenged current laws, customs, and government.

The Routledge Guidebook to Paine’s Rights of Man provides the first comprehensive and fully contextualized introduction to this foundational text in the history of modern political thought, addressing its central themes, reception, and influence. The Guidebook examines:

  • the history of rights, populism, representative governments, and challenges to monarchy from the 12th through 18th century;
  • Paine‚Äôs arguments against monarchies, mixed governments, war, and state-church establishments;
  • Paine‚Äôs views on constitutions;
  • Paine‚Äôs proposals regarding suffrage, inequality, poverty, and public welfare;
  • Paine‚Äôs revolution in rhetoric and style;
  • the critical reception upon publication and influence through the centuries, as well as Paine‚Äôs relevance today.

The Routledge Guidebook to Paine’s Rights of Man is essential reading for students of eighteenth-century American and British history, politics and philosophy, and anyone approaching Paine’s work for the first time.


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