Thomas Paine and the Clarion Call for American Independence

Thomas Paine and the Clarion Call for American Independence

by Harlow Giles Unger

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Overview

From New York Times bestselling author and Founding Fathers' biographer Harlow Giles Unger comes the astonishing biography of the man whose pen set America ablaze, inspiring its revolution, and whose ideas about reason and religion continue to try men's souls.


Thomas Paine's words were like no others in history: they leaped off the page, inspiring readers to change their lives, their governments, their kings, and even their gods. In an age when spoken and written words were the only forms of communication, Paine's aroused men to action like no one else. The most widely read political writer of his generation, he proved to be more than a century ahead of his time, conceiving and demanding unheard-of social reforms that are now integral elements of modern republican societies. Among them were government subsidies for the poor, universal housing and education, pre- and post-natal care for women, and universal social security. An Englishman who emigrated to the American colonies, he formed close friendships with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and his ideas helped shape the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

However, the world turned against Paine in his later years. While his earlier works, Common Sense and Rights of Man, attacked the political and social status quo here on earth, The Age of Reason attacked the status quo of the hereafter. Former friends shunned him, and the man America had hailed as the muse of the American Revolution died alone and forgotten.

Packed with action and intrigue, soldiers and spies, politics and perfidy, Unger's Thomas Paine is a much-needed new look at a defining figure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306921933
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 100,943
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Acclaimed historian Harlow Giles Unger is a former Distinguished Visiting Fellow at George Washington's Mount Vernon. He is the author of twenty-six previous books, including twelve biographies of America's Founding Fathers and three histories of the early Republic. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Chronology xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Cries of Paine 5

Chapter 2 Common Sense 29

Chapter 3 The Times That Tried Men's Souls 49

Chapter 4 American Crisis 69

Chapter 5 Can Nothing Be Done for Poor Paine? 95

Chapter 6 Money Is Money; Paper Is Paper 117

Chapter 7 Citizen Paine 129

Chapter 8 A Tale of Two Cities 149

Chapter 9 The Terror 177

Chapter 10 In the Name of Religion 197

Chapter 11 A Letter to Washington 213

Chapter 12 Fallen Idol 237

Chapter 13 To Rescue Man from Tyranny 249

Chapter 14 When the Empire of America Shall Fall 261

Appendix A The Principal Works of Thomas Paine 267

Appendix B The Age of Reason: Contents and Summary 275

Notes 283

Primary Research Resources and Bibliography 301

Index 307

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