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Posted March 21, 2008
Finest Paine bio and interpretation in print
Professor Harvey J. Kaye's biographical and interpretive treatment of revolutionary pamphleteer Thomas Paine is the finest work of its kind presently in print. Kaye's treatment of Paine is in two parts: first the most accurate and readable biographical account yet written, and second, a survey of Paine's influences throughout the entire political spectrum from the late nineteenth century up to the date of the book's publication, 1995. Don't be mislead by the obviously ideologically based attack by the anonymous reviewer entitle 'big disappointment.' This is one of the finest works on Paine ever written and Kaye treats the entire range of political references to Paine from the Left to the Right. A pleasure to read,historically accurate, and balanced, Kaye's Tom Paine is no dead, white male and he's not easily pigeon-holed into anyone's political or ideological agenda. In the words of President Andrew Jackson, 'Thomas Paine needs no monument made by hands. He has erected a monument in the hearts of all lovers of liberty.'
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Posted January 7, 2011
Posted July 1, 2009
A Book To Be Avoided
This is book is an excellent example of a poorly written, poorly researched and very transparent lobbying effort. The author does not present a history and analysis of Thomas Paine and his writings. He does assert Thomas Paine's greatness, because he is co-opting Thomas Paine to give weight to his own flimsy politics. After telling us how great Paine is, he proceeds to link Marxist and Socialist dogma, wonderful as it is, to Paine and his writings. This book is not history, nor political science, nor journalism, nor worth reading.
In the introduction of the book the author states that it is his goal to 'take back Thomas Paine for the Left.' The author, a Professor of Social Justice and Democracy, commits grammatical error after writing mistake in his weak attempt to make Thomas Paine a God of Marxism and Socialism.
Besides deplorable grammar, from a self styled editor no less, he leaves the reader with gaps in the biographical time line, and anachronistic use of terms. While convincing us that he is not qualified to be an editor, he fails to present the evolution of Thomas Paine's writings. The author frequently refers to class warfare, and uses superficial and questionable descriptions of historical figures; such as Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
The author fails to mention all of Thomas Paine's relationships until Paine's death. Apparently, the author does not consider personal relationships of any significance. This may not seem to be critical, but it demonstrates the lack of depth and thoroughness of the author. The author lists Paines occupations, but he thinks nothing of the high rate of Paine's job turn over.
The author sweeps away 'inconvenient truths,' and presents his opinions as fact. His analysis is lazy, his writing is dull, and his conclusions are wishful thinking. The author fails to establish a sound and thoughtful basis for his interpretation of Paine's writings. The author's perspective is that of a failed and dreamy 1960's radical.
The book tells us little about Thomas Paine, but it does tell us how fuzzy headed radicals think; liberal us of the word think. My recommendation for anyone looking to buy this book to think twice,and then do not buy it. If one feels compelled to read the book then get a copy from the library, but do not spend your hard earned money on this thing.
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Posted August 14, 2006
A Big Disapointment
The author takes liberties with the history of Thomas Paine and claims to know what he was thinking ,what he wanted to do,and what he was going to do. The author glories in the wonders of socialism. The book might as well have been written as a primer for the ACLU
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Posted June 24, 2011
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Posted April 23, 2011
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