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

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 worl‛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 Nelso‛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 Pain‛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 meteo” 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.

Synopsis:

This is the first work of history to place Thomas Paine firmly in the heady period of intellectual excitement and political turmoil in which he lived. Drawing on the best of recent scholarship, this richly drawn biography traces the many twists and turns of Paine's life.

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

“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

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Thomas Paine A Note

Acknowledgments

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

Notes

Sources

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670037889
Author:
Nelson, Craig
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Political
Subject:
History
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
Revolutionaries
Subject:
United States - 18th Century
Subject:
Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
Enlightenment, Revol
Publication Date:
20070904
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w art insert on text stock
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.54x6.40x1.32 in. 1.53 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » Paine, Thomas

Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Viking Books - English 9780670037889 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This is the first work of history to place Thomas Paine firmly in the heady period of intellectual excitement and political turmoil in which he lived. Drawing on the best of recent scholarship, this richly drawn biography traces the many twists and turns of Paine's life.
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

"Synopsis" by , “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

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