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Thomas PaineThomas Paine
Craig Nelson
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In Craig Nelson's Thomas Paine we now have a rich and vivid portrait that does justice to this towering figure of our history, one that brings him to life against the dramatic backdrop of the Revolutionary era and the heady intellectual exhilartaion of the Age of Enlightenment. Nelson traces Paine's path from his years as a struggling London mechanic to his journey to seek his fortune in the New World; from his early career as a crusading pamphleteer to his emergence as the heroic voice of revolutionary fervor on two continents; from his miraculous escape from execution in Paris during The Terror to his final years in America, where the once-lionized patriot spend his final days nearly impoverished and in the throes of dementia. Throughout his insightful portrait Nelson takes full account of this paradoxical figure.

Five years in the making, drawing on both the most recent scholarship and the archives of Philadelphia, Washington, New York, Paris, London, Lewes, and Thetford, Thomas Paine restores this often misunderstoof man to the stature that he deserves, and reveals him, a man who famously asserted that "we have it in our power to begin the world over again," to be as much a man of our own time as a paragon of the Enlightenment.
     


 
Thomas Paine: Collected WritingsThomas Paine: Collected Writings
Thomas Paine
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Eric Foner, editor. Paine was the impassioned democratic voice of the Age of Revolution, and this volume brings together his best-known works-Common Sense, The American Crisis, Rights of Man, The Age of Reason-along with a selection of letters, articles, and pamphlets that emphasizes Paine's American years. "All of the germinal work of the forgotten founding Father." -Christopher Hitchens
     

 
The Rights of ManThe Rights of Man
Thomas Paine
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One of the great classics on democracy, this was published in England in 1791 as a vindication of the French Revolution and a critique of the British system of government. In direct, forceful prose, Paine defends popular rights, national independence, revolutionary war, and economic growth - all considered dangerous and even seditious issues.
     

 
Common SenseCommon Sense
Thomas Paine
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Published anonymously in 1776, the year of the American Declaration of Independence, Paine's Common Sense became an immediate bestseller, with fifty-six editions printed in that year alone. It was this pamphlet, more than any other factor, which helped to spark off the movement that established the independence of the United States. From his experience of revolutionary politics, Paine drew those principles of fundamental human rights which, he felt, must stand no matter what excesses are committed to otain them, and which he later formulated in his Rights of Men.
     

 
Rights of ManRights of Man
Thomas Paine
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Common SenseCommon Sense
Thomas Paine
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Thomas Paine arrived in America from England in 1774. A friend of Ben Franklin, he was a writer of poetry and tracts condemning the slave trade. In 1775, as hostilities between Britain and the colonies intensified, Paine wrote "Common Sense" to encourage the colonies to break the British exploitative hold through independence. The little booklet of 50 pages was published January 10, 1776 and sold a half-million copies, approximately equal to 75 million copies today.
     

 

 
Rights of Man; And, Common Sense, Vol. 0000Rights of Man; And, Common Sense, Vol. 0000
Thomas Paine, Michael Foot
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The authorities in power in England during Thomas Paine's lifetime saw him as an agent provocateur who used his seditious eloquence to support the emancipation of slaves and women, the demands of working people, and the rebels of the French and American Revolutions. History, on the other hand, has come to regard him as the figure who gave political cogency to the liberating ideas of the Enlightenment, and his great pamphlets, Common Sense and Rights Of Man, are now recognized for what they are - classic arguments in defense of the individual's right to assert his or her freedom in the face of tranny.
     

 

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