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: A major actor in the American Revolution, English intellectual Thomas Paine (1737-1809) is remembered especially for his pamphlet Common Sense (1776; also reissued in this series), which advocates America's independence from Great Britain. Paine was a dedicated reformer, who also lent his support to the French Revolution. First published in 1791, Rights of Man was sparked by the publication of Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), and the fourth edition is reissued here. Paine argues that revolution is legitimate against a government that fails to protect its people and their essential rights. The second part was published in 1792, and develops concrete measures for political reform, proposing novel concepts such as political representation and tax reform to benefit the poor. Extremely influential and controversial in its own day, this book provides a critique of authoritarian governments and a very modern practical political philosophy.