Thomas Paine: Firebrand of the Revolution

Thomas Paine: Firebrand of the Revolution

by Harvey J. Kaye
     
 

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was one of the most fascinating figures of the late 18th century. His public antagonist and personal friend John Adams believed that their times would come to be known as the "Age of Paine." He came to America in middle age and became a radical-democratic pamphleteer, effectively turning colonial rebellion into a national

Overview

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was one of the most fascinating figures of the late 18th century. His public antagonist and personal friend John Adams believed that their times would come to be known as the "Age of Paine." He came to America in middle age and became a radical-democratic pamphleteer, effectively turning colonial rebellion into a national liberation movement. He later returned to Europe where he played a prominent role in both the French Revolution and the cause of English radicalism. Paine is best remembered for his books: the controversial The Rights of Man and his book on the American Revolution, Common Sense. Harvey J. Kaye, well-known for his studies on Paine and his period, traces the English revolutionary's life and details his political writings in accessible, highly readable narrative that also covers important events of early American history.

Oxford Portraits is a new series of biographies for young adults. Written by prominent writers and historians, each of these titles is designed to supplement the core texts of the middle and high school curriculum with intriguing, thoroughly informative and insightful accounts of the lives and work of the notable men and women who helped shape history. Each book is illustrated with numerous graphics, photographs, and documents. A unique feature is the inclusion of sidebars containing primary source material, mostly excerpts from the subject's writings. A chronology, further reading list, and index rounds out every volume.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kaye skillfully weaves together the story of the man and the important historical events that occurred during his lifetime. The writing is lively and unbiased.... A solid addition to biography collections."—School Library Journal

"Attentive readers will come away with a grasp of Paine's background, career, beliefs, and accomplishments, as well as a sense of the social upheavals during his time in America, England, and France.... A solid, readable choice for biography collections."—Booklist

"This is a great introduction to Thomas Paine for both young adults and adults. It is the first work on Paine in decades, which is very accurate as to the facts of his life and the crucial role he played in founding this country and in the democratic revolutions all over the world. That makes this an important work. I welcome its publication."—Gary Berton, President, Thomas Paine National Historical Association

"Kaye capably interweaves life in the 18th century with biographical material ... descriptive and comprehensive ... Recommended."—Book Report

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This biography provides fascinating details about the life of Thomas Paine, and the political and social contexts from which his influential writings were born. Paine suffered much misery in his personal life and was always controversial. His writings, which greatly influenced the American and French Revolutions, as well as political events in his native England, are still being discussed today. As a teenager, Paine apprenticed with his father to learn the skill of corset making. From such humble beginnings, he rose to international fame and considered himself a citizen of the world. Overall, the text informs and discusses the highlights of Paine's life. However, there are parts of the book that generate questions, which will have to be answered by studying other sources. Much complex history is covered in this book, which is one in the publisher's "Oxford Portraits" series. 2000, Oxford University Press, Ages 12 up, $25.00. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
Library Journal
Tom Paine was one of the more intriguing figures of the American Revolution. The subject of numerous biographies and fictional accounts (e.g., Howard Fast's 1943 Citizen Tom Paine), he is now the subject of this new volume in the "Oxford Portraits" series. While the series is primarily aimed at high school students, Kaye (history, Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay) delivers a crisp and concise biography that will be appreciated by a broad general audience of readers. Although his writing style is occasionally too pared down ("Paine was a friendly and sociable young man"), this deceptively simple book is fast paced and well organized. Kaye appends a short bibliography but does not provide any reference notes. This is a suitable acquisition for high school and public libraries but will not replace major works on Paine such as Eric Foner's Tom Paine and Revolutionary America (1976).--Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195116274
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/28/2000
Series:
Oxford Portraits Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Harvey J. Kaye is the Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. An award-winning author, Kaye has published fifteen books on history, politics, and ideas, contributed articles and essays to a diverse array of publications, including the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, Salon.com, and Huffington Post, and appeared as a guest on numerous television and radio programs, including "Bill Moyers Journal," BookTV's "After Words," "Here and Now," and "The Thom Hartmann Show."

Born in New Jersey, Kaye received his B.A. at Rutgers (1971), his M.A. at the University of London (1973), and his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University (1976). He is a member of the National Writers Union, AFT, and PEN, and an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer (2007-2013). Kaye lives with his wife Lorna in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where they raised two daughters and root for the Packers. His new book - The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great - will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2014.

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