Thomas Paine

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

3.92 (1,236 ratings by Goodreads)
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A fresh new look at the Enlightenment intellectual who became the most controversial of America's founding fathers
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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 396 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 25.4mm | 385.55g
  • Penguin Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0143112384
  • 9780143112389
  • 653,517

About 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.
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Review quote

aCraig Nelsonas lovely new biography provides cogent reasons why the man who wrote Common Sense has often been neglected by the cheerleaders for the American Revolution.a
a"Los Angeles Times Book Review"
aA rewarding new biography . . . as much a primer on the Enlightenment as it is the story of the stay-maker from Thetfordaand all the better for it.a
a"The New Yorker"
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Table of contents

Thomas 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
12. Provenance
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Rating details

1,236 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 34% (420)
4 36% (440)
3 22% (273)
2 6% (74)
1 2% (29)
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