Thomas Paine (1737-1802) was born at Thetford, Norfolk in England, as a son of a Quaker. He immigrated to America in 1774. There he published works criticising the slavery and supporting American independence. He became very popular but returned to England where he became involved in the French Revolution. After that he returned to America, where he died.
Isaac Kramnick is a professor of Government at Cornell University and has edited of The Federalist Papers and The Thomas Paine Reader.