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Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist, Author & Science Communicator)Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on planet? [...] The Age of Reason (Paine) [to learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world]. If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world.
In the opening year, 1793, when revolutionary France had beheaded its king, the wrath turned next upon the King of kings, by whose grace every tyrant claimed to reign. But eventualities had brought among them a great English and American heart -- Thomas Paine. He had pleaded for Louis Caper -- "Kill the king but spare the man." Now he pleaded, -- "Disbelieve in the King of kings, but do not confuse with that idol the Father of Mankind!"