Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson



Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Robogenesis

    Daniel H. Wilson 9780385537094

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$5.95
Used Trade Paper
Usually ships in 5 to 7 business days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
1 Remote Warehouse General- General

More copies of this ISBN

The Trouble with Tom: The Strange Afterlife and Times of Thomas Paine

by

The Trouble with Tom: The Strange Afterlife and Times of Thomas Paine Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“[A] quixotic, mischievous and often hilarious work…Part travelogue, part memoir and part historical mystery, this book reads like a wry, witty novel and offers a delicious twist at the end.”—Publishers Weekly

Paul Collins takes us on a strange odyssey down the forgotten roads of history as he hunts for the bones of Tom Paine—exhumed and then lost, and now scattered around the globe. Crossing the paths of everyone from Walt Whitman and Charles Darwin to sex reformers and feral monkeys, this colorful search for a founding fathers body simultaneously excavates the very soul of democracy.

Paul Collins is an assistant professor of English at Portland State University and the author of Sixpence House, The Trouble with Tom, Not Even Wrong, and Banvards Folly. His work has appeared in Smithsonian, the New York Times, and Slate. He edits the Collins Library imprint of McSweeneys Books and appears regularly on NPRs Weekend Edition as the shows resident literary detective.
A Book Sense/History Channel Top Ten Pick
 
A typical book about an American founding father doesn't start at a gay piano bar and almost end in a sewage ditch. But then, Tom Paine wasn't your typical founding father. The firebrand Common Sense rebel of 1776, a radical on the run from the law in London, and a senator of the First French Republic, Paine was a walking, talking revolution. When he died, shunned as an infidel by every church, Paine had to be interred in an open field on a New York farm. Ten years later, a convert to Paine's cause dug up the bones and carried them back to Britain, where he planned to build a mausoleum in Paine's honor. But he never got around to it—and Paine's bones were lost.
 
Paul Collins combines wry present-day travelogue with an odyssey down the forgotten paths of history as he searches for the scattered remains of Tom Paine and finds them hidden, among other places, in a Paris hotel, underneath a London tailor's stool, and inside a roadside statue in New York. Crossing paths with everyone from Walt Whitman and Charles Darwin to sex reformers and feral monkeys, this colorful search for a founding father's body excavates the soul of democracy itself.
"This is research as the Great Library God intended—one part resourcefulness; one part curiosity; one part instinct; one part slow, keen observation of detail."—Los Angeles Times
 
"An entertaining romp."—The New Yorker

"Despite the popularity of his revolutionary essay Common Sense, Paine was scorned as a rebel constantly searching for a cause. When he died in 1809, no church would bury him in its cemetery, leaving his remains to be interred on his own farm. A few years later, William Cobbett, an Englishman and revolutionary in his own right, dug up the body with plans to bury it beneath a monument to be built in London. That never happened. Over the next century, those who were most influenced by his writings sought to give him a proper burial, but ultimately his remains were lost. Some names, like Thomas Edison, will be familiar. Others, like Dr. Foote, a self-help author, will not be, but provide interesting color. Paine's spirit eventually influenced a number of movements, touching on everything from feminism to the Thirteen Club (its sole function—mocking every superstition imaginable). The author does a great job of tying disparate threads together and leading them back to Paine. He intersperses the history with travel narratives detailing his own search for the remains. These sections not only showcase the unusual turns research can take, but also bring a unique sense of pacing to a history book. Highly readable and filled with enough witty anecdotes to entertain people who don't normally read history, this book is a reminder that history surrounds and influences us every day of our lives."—Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, School Library Journal

"These are the times that try men's . . . bones? In this quixotic, mischievous and often hilarious work, Collins traces the bizarre story of Thomas Paine's remains through nearly two centuries of American and English history. After Paine's death in 1809, the iconoclastic reformer was refused burial in any Christian cemetery and was laid to rest ignominiously on his New York farm with only six people in attendance. Ten years later, a follower exhumed the remains and took them to England, where they were passed about for decades while various individuals harvested this or that relic for their private collections. More than a history of Paine's body, Collins offers an entertaining and compelling investigation of his legacy; Paine's example continued to animate all kinds of reformers throughout the 19th century, from feminists and spiritualists to phrenologists and physicians. Indeed, Paine's artifacts had a kind of Forrest Gump quality, bumping into many of the celebrated causes, writers and agitators of the day. Part travelogue, part memoir and part historical mystery, this book reads like a wry, witty novel and offers a delicious twist at the end."—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

“[A] quixotic, mischievous and often hilarious work…Part travelogue, part memoir and part historical mystery, this book reads like a wry, witty novel and offers a delicious twist at the end.”—Publishers Weekly

Paul Collins takes us on a strange odyssey down the forgotten roads of history as he hunts for the bones of Tom Paine—exhumed and then lost, and now scattered around the globe. Crossing the paths of everyone from Walt Whitman and Charles Darwin to sex reformers and feral monkeys, this colorful search for a founding fathers body simultaneously excavates the very soul of democracy.

About the Author

Paul Collins is an assistant professor of English at Portland State University and the author of Sixpence House, The Trouble with Tom, Not Even Wrong, and Banvards Folly. His work has appeared in Smithsonian, the New York Times, and Slate. He edits the Collins Library imprint of McSweeneys Books and appears regularly on NPRs Weekend Edition as the shows resident literary detective.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582346137
Subtitle:
The Strange Afterlife and Times of Thomas Paine
Author:
Collins, Paul
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Modern - General
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
World History-1650 to Present
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20090707
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.27 x 5.52 x 0.805 in

Other books you might like

  1. America's Constitution: A Biography Used Trade Paper $8.95
  2. A Free Man of Color (Benjamin January) Used Mass Market $1.95
  3. Cross Country Used Hardcover $5.50
  4. This Is Your Brain on Music: The...
    Used Trade Paper $9.50
  5. The City of Your Final Destination Used Book Club Hardcover $1.50
  6. The Third Reich in Power, 1933-1939
    Used Hardcover $23.00

Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Political
History and Social Science » US History » 18th Century
History and Social Science » US History » Paine, Thomas
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Trouble with Tom: The Strange Afterlife and Times of Thomas Paine Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582346137 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
“[A] quixotic, mischievous and often hilarious work…Part travelogue, part memoir and part historical mystery, this book reads like a wry, witty novel and offers a delicious twist at the end.”—Publishers Weekly

Paul Collins takes us on a strange odyssey down the forgotten roads of history as he hunts for the bones of Tom Paine—exhumed and then lost, and now scattered around the globe. Crossing the paths of everyone from Walt Whitman and Charles Darwin to sex reformers and feral monkeys, this colorful search for a founding fathers body simultaneously excavates the very soul of democracy.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.