Rights of Man, Common Sense and other political writings

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Thomas Paine was the first international revolutionary. His Common Sense (1776) was the most widely read pamphlet on the American Revolution; his Rights of Man (1791-2) was the most famous defense of the French revolution and sent out a clarion call for revolution throughout the world. He paid the price for his principles; he was outlawed in Britain and narrowly escaped execution in France, and was vilified as an atheist and a Jacobin on his return to America.

Paine believed that government must be by and for the people and must limit itself to the protection of their natural rights. He generated on of the the first blue prints for a welfare state, combining a liberal order of civil rights with egalitarian constraints. This collection brings togethor Paines most powerful political writings in the first fully annotated edition of these works.