Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of the Modern Nations

Overview

A thrilling biography of America's most controversial founding father and the revolutionary age he helped to shape

Despite 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 three of the biggest bestsellers of the eighteenth century, Thomas Paine is perhaps the least well known -- and the most controversial -- of the American founding fathers. Unlike such friends and allies as Washington, ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (2) from $51.47   
  • New (1) from $69.61   
  • Used (1) from $51.47   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$69.61
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(859)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new and unread! Join our growing list of satisfied customers!

Ships from: Phoenix, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

A thrilling biography of America's most controversial founding father and the revolutionary age he helped to shape

Despite 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 three of the biggest bestsellers of the eighteenth century, Thomas Paine is perhaps the least well known -- and the most controversial -- of the American founding fathers. Unlike such friends and allies as Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, and John Adams, the world’s first crusader for the public good has always remained a somewhat indistinct figure. How this lower-class British tradesman managed not only to have written the cornerstone of American democracy, Common Sense, but become a revered citizen of the world are questions that have challenged historians for centuries, and have more often than not left us with biographies that are more monumental than illuminating.

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 exhilaration 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 (in which he arrived on a stretcher, after a nearly deadly bout of shipboard typhus); 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 spent his final days nearly impoverished and in the throes of dementia. Throughout his insightful portrait Nelson takes full account of this paradoxical figure, whom some contemporaries judged as brilliant and charismatic and others disparaged as abrasive and egotistical, a cherished patriot who was nonetheless dismissed by John Adams as a "disastrous meteor" and Teddy Roosevelt as a "dirty little atheist."

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 misunderstood 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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Poor Tom Paine! There he lies; nobody laughs and nobody cries; where he has gone or how he fares; nobody knows and nobody cares." This 19th-century street ditty captures the obscurity of America's least known Founding Father. The author of Common Sense and other influential pamphlets helped spark the American Revolution and the upheaval in France, but earned no lasting fame. Indeed, history buff Theodore Roosevelt dismissed Paine (1737-1809) as "a dirty little atheist," and John Adams cast him off as "a disastrous meteor." Craig Nelson's major biography brings Paine alive in a new way. As Joseph J. Ellis noted, "This is the first book to recover him in his own electrical style...with all the flaws and foibles flaming away amidst the greatness."
Publishers Weekly
Enlightenment thinker Thomas Paine would be pleased with this brisk, intellectually sophisticated study of his life. Nelson (The First Heroes) breezes through Paine's first 37 years, his attention tuned to 1774, when Paine moved from England to Philadelphia, bearing glowing letters of introduction from Benjamin Franklin. It was there that "his real life story would begin" with the writing of the hugely influential Common Sense, which attacked the divine right of kings and advocated American independence. Nelson follows Paine as he heads to Europe in 1787, and charts Paine's ambiguous relationship with the French Revolution. During the Reign of Terror, Paine got to work on The Age of Reason, and Nelson insists that, though his subject has been called an atheist, this work advocated 18th-century deism and was right in step with "mainstream Anglo-American religious discourse" of the era. Nelson concludes with a brief, intriguing discussion of Paine's legacy in the United States. The descriptions of Paine birthday galas in New York and Philadelphia 20 years after his 1809 death are fascinating in fact, an entire chapter could have been devoted to Paine's influence in the Jacksonian era. This volume won't replace Eric Foner's classic Tom Paine and Revolutionary America, but it's a welcome addition. (Sept. 25) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This book reflects the resurgence of interest in one of the most neglected and controversial Americans in the era of the Founding Fathers. Independent historian Nelson (The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raid) includes interesting excursions into topics like medicine, the publishing industry, and, most especially, the intellectual movement that we call the Enlightenment. With a storyteller's gift for the dramatic, Nelson begins with the furtive digging up of Paine's body in a remote American location and its return to England, and he ends with a discussion of the dispersal of Paine's body parts and the recent campaign to locate and reassemble them. Though reliable in its general picture of Paine and his time period, the book is marred by numerous small mistakes. For example, Nelson errs in stating that Henry Clinton was part of the British peace commission sent to America in the spring of 1778, and he mentions that British spy William Bancroft worked in Paris during the American Revolution (that was Edward Bancroft). This book will nonetheless make a good companion piece to Harvey J. Kaye's Thomas Paine and the Promise of America. Recommended for all public libraries. Thomas J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781428105447
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Format: CD
  • Pages: 15
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Nelson
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.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)