Despite his 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 Common Sense, Thomas Paine is the least well known of America's founding fathers. This edifying biography by Craig Nelson traces Paine's path from his years as a London mechanic, through his emergence as the voice of revolutionary fervor on two continents, to his final days in the throes of dementia. By acquainting us as never before with this complex and combative genius, Nelson rescues a giant from obscurity-and gives us a fascinating work of history.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.38(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.85(d)|
|Age Range:||18 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Table of ContentsThomas PaineA Note
1. The Mission of Atonement
2. Begotten by a Wild Boar of a Bitch Wolf
3. Pragmatic Utopians
4. Hell Is Not Easily Conquered
5. The Silas Deane Affair
6. The Missionary Bereft of His Mission
7. Droits de l'Homme, ou Droits du Seigneur?
8. The Sovereigns Among Us
9. The Religion of Science
10. The Perfidious Mr. Morris
11. Utopian Dissolves
What People are Saying About This
"Thomas Paine has had many biographers, but this is the first book to recover him in his own electrical style. Nelson's account brings Paine to life with all the flaws and foibles flaming away amidst the greatness. The story is poignant and the prose is incandescent."
---Joseph J. Ellis, author, most recently, of His Excellency: George Washington
"Craig Nelson's lovely new biography provides cogent reasons why the man who wrote Common Sense has often been neglected by the cheerleaders for the American Revolution."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
"A rewarding new biography . . . as much a primer on the Enlightenment as it is the story of the stay-maker from Thetford-and all the better for it."
-The New Yorker
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was my introduction to Thomas Paine, insightful and informative. A bit slow in later chapters. Nice set up with a beginning chapter describing an event following Paine's death and burial. An interestng revolutionary and progressive thinker, whose impact and significance is presented in a way leaving a lasting understanding of the man, his life's mission (from his perspective)and the reasons for it.
A well-written biography of Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense, The Crisis, The Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason, among others. Paine was one of the primary intellectual and philosophical forces driving the American Revolution, stating complex issues in clear and simple language so that all could understand. He went on to participate in the French Revolution, although his views were sidelined by the parties responsible for the Terror and he barely escaped alive.Reviled as a drunken atheist by his political enemies (the English crown and aristocracy and the American Federalists), Paine held fast to his Enlightenment ideals despite the changing political landscapes in which he found himself. The Age of Reason, often cited as the most damning evidence of his atheism, was actually a well-reasoned explanation of and defense of Deism, a form of religious belief that rejected all existing churches in favor of awe of and belief in a benevolent, but distant, god.Understanding and vigorously pursuing Paine¿s ideals could still serve us well today. They may be our only hope for making the world a better place for all.