Thomas Paine  -     By: Craig Nelson
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Thomas Paine

Penguin Putnam Inc. / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 432
Vendor: Penguin Putnam Inc.
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0143112384
ISBN-13: 9780143112389
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

A fresh new look at the Enlightenment intellectual who became the most controversial of America's founding fathers

Despite his being a founder of both the United States and the French Republic, the creator of the phrase "United States of America," and the author of Common Sense, Thomas Paine is the least well known of America's founding fathers. This edifying biography by Craig Nelson traces Paine's path from his years as a London mechanic, through his emergence as the voice of revolutionary fervor on two continents, to his final days in the throes of dementia. By acquainting us as never before with this complex and combative genius, Nelson rescues a giant from obscurity-and gives us a fascinating work of history.

Author Bio

Craig Nelson is the author of four previous books, including The First Heroes and Let's Get Lost. His writings have appeared in Salon, The New England Review, Blender, Genre, and a host of other publications. He was an editor at HarperCollins, Hyperion, and Random House for almost twenty years and has been profiled by Variety, Interview, Manhattan, Inc., and Time Out.

Editorial Reviews

"Craig Nelson's lovely new biography provides cogent reasons why the man who wrote Common Sense has often been neglected by the cheerleaders for the American Revolution."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A rewarding new biography . . . as much a primer on the Enlightenment as it is the story of the stay-maker from Thetford-and all the better for it."
-The New Yorker

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