H. G. Wells’s passionate and influential manifesto—never before available in the United States—was first published in England in 1940 in response to World War II. The progressive ideas Wells set out were instrumental in the creation of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the UK’s Human Rights Act. In the face of a global miscarriage of justice, The Rights of Man made a clear statement of mankind’s responsibilities to itself.
Seventy-five years later we are again witnessing a humanitarian crisis, with human rights in developed nations under threat and millions of refugees displaced. A new introduction to Wells’s work by award-winning novelist Ali Smith underlines the continuing urgency and relevance of one of the most important humanitarian texts of the twentieth century.
About the Author
H. G. Wells (1866-1946) was a prominent English socialist and pacifist, and a prolific writer in many genres. As the author of The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The Time Machine, he is considered a pioneer of science fiction.
Ali Smith, author of how to be both, has won numerous awards for her novels, three of which have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Born in Inverness, Scotland, Smith lives in Cambridge, England.