Amazon.com description: Product Description
: Thomas Paine, the son of a corset maker, came to America in 1774 as unobtrusively as any other immigrant with no connections. But he brought with him a special combination of sensitivity to victimization at the hands of authorities and a facile way with words. He soon wrote the pamphlet, Common Sense, that articulated the colonialist mood of oppression, became a stunning best seller, and broke the viscosity of the brimming radical sentiment, allowing colonial revolution to overflow the cup. In 1789, revolution spilled over in France also. When the British Parliamentarian, Edmund Burke, in the face of this radical outburst, published an extravagant defense of monarchy, Paine, now an international figure for his writing, answered the call. The French did not need his help to take to the streets, but he stepped forward with his book, Rights of Man, to place their cause on a broad stage. With radical flair he threw monarchy and its trappings on the rubble of the past and pictured democracy as the wave of the future. Rights of Man is surely a pamphlet of its time, with Burke as its foil and a revolution, though it becomes soiled, as its hope. Paine’s prose borders on rhetoric and he has overmuch confidence in simple fiscal solutions to government oppressions. But his felicity of phrase still works and he is an inspiring spokesman for humane sentiment. This paraphrase version attempts to showcase these literary qualities of Paine while he works through his arguments for the integrity of human rights. This rephrasing is about 25% of the original length but includes all that Paine has to offer. Missing is only the repetition and extra detail. This re-expression retains the excitement of the times and reminds us of how Paine could appear to his audience as a comet streaking through the sky.