Tag Archives: equality

POSTCARD #8: ON THE RIGHTS OF MAN

Here at PPPHQ (got to love an acronym), we don’t like to be judgemental. This project is, after all, rooted in creativity – a hundred different takes on a hundred different books from a hundred different places around the world.

But we can’t help but feel as though one reviewer might have missed the point. Postcard #8 came tumbling through the letterbox… housed snugly in its own little envelope (as you’ll see, since there’s no stamp or postage mark). It does bear a couple of lines of review, but the main book analysis was on a separate piece of paper inside the envelope. Well, it’s certainly one way to get around that whole pesky ‘fitting a review on the back of a postcard’ issue. And it means we get to see the lovely little penguin strutting his stuff at the top right. So it’s not all bad.

Tempted as we were to omit the paper review from the blogpost on grounds of objection, it seemed rather against the spirit of the thing, so here is review #8 and its addendum in all their glory. It sounds as though HG Wells’ On The Rights of Man is somewhat less riveting than the science fiction he’s best known for – even though such work also clearly expounds his socialist outlook (dystopian worlds flourish in novellas like The Time Machine).

I think I’ll stick to Wells’ sci-fi output for now – but have a little more respect for the man in knowing that he fought hard, and earnestly, for social equality at a time when others did not.

Did you know? HG Wells was diabetic. In fact, he founded the charity Diabetics UK. #pubquiztrivia

‘Possibly the mouldiest book I’ve read!’
A book full of opinions on rights and laws; would benefit from an injection of 1940s humour.
Not for the faint-hearted.

The Rights of Man – HG Wells
This book is part of a series of specials that Penguin produced. Written in 1940, this is a discussion essay looking at the rights of man, what these should be and why.
The book opens with two lectures that HG Wells had submitted during the Second World War. He discusses how man should understand what is being fought for – retaining human rights.
HG Wells outlines a 10-point declaration of rights and the book covers the discussion of these points; what they mean and why they are important.
While the book is quite dry (okay, very dry… 120 pages is tough going!), it does highlight issues then that are still issues we look at now, for example, removing racism and gender inequality.
Would I recommend it? Probably not. Unless you have a particular interest in this area of human rights and laws to coincide with them, you may find this isn’t the ideal read for you.
Jeni McNicoll
April 2012

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