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Hitchens: How Paine's 'Rights' Changed the World

Revolutionary philosopher Thomas Paine, circa 1770.
Revolutionary philosopher Thomas Paine, circa 1770.

Author Christopher Hitchens discusses how Thomas Paine's writings influenced human rights, and the French and American Revolutions.

Hitchens writes that the 18th-century philosopher's easily accessible rhetoric was a key to his widespread influence.

Hitchens' book is the latest in Atlantic/Grove's "Books That Changed the World" series.


Christopher Hitchens, author of Thomas Paine's Rights of Man: A Biography; contributor to Vanity Fair

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: September 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
Our guest incorrectly says that David Hume died on July 4, 1776. Hume died on Aug. 25 of that year.