HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and…
Loading...

Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations (2006)

by Craig Nelson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
281540,152 (3.89)11
Recently added byprivate library, FArias04, TimOstroot, KimMarieSpacy, jackthomas, itim415

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 11 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
This is an outstandingl portrait fascinating, wonderfully complex genius. I have read Common Sense and some of American Crisis. This book makes me want to read them again and the rest oif Paine's work. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Thomas Paine's involvement in both the American and French revolutions solidified his place in history and Nelson’s book is one of both praise and folly. Paine had major flaws and this book does not gloss over them. Thomas Paine skillfully imparts the ideals of liberalism, the Enlightenment, and the Revolutionary War as well as thoroughly investigating the life of one our founding fathers. This was a very rewarding book.

http://lifelongdewey.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/320-thomas-paine-by-craig-nelson/ ( )
  NielsenGW | Nov 16, 2012 |
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. ( )
  bigmoose | Jun 25, 2009 |
Thomas Paine was the Forrest Gump of the Enlightenment. He bumbled along through life, usually with no money, no real job, or no home of his own. Yet he was involved in the most important events, and with the most notable figures, of the Eighteenth Century.

Paine (then Pain) spent his first 37 years in England when, separated from his wife, bankrupt, and fired from his job, he decided to go to America. It was then that he precipitously met the most famous American in Europe, Benjamin Franklin, who became his lifelong friend and his immediate benefactor by providing him letters of introduction.

Arriving in America in 1774 with his cache of Franklin letters, Paine was a delegate at the first Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. He began another lifelong friendship, this time with George Washington. While struggling along as a magazine writer and editor, he wrote Common Sense, which sparked the American Revolution. Although he did not fight in the Revolution, he was often at the front lines with Washington, and his line, “These are the times that try men’s souls” was the troops’ rallying cry.

Following American independence, Paine did not hold office like many of the other Founding Fathers. But he was sent to France to represent America in negotiating peace with Britain. He wrote Rights of Man, which was a world-wide best seller and sparked the French Revolution. It also earned Paine, in abstentia, a British death sentence for sedition.

During the French Revolution, Paine was elected to the French National Assembly, where he was the only member to vote against beheading Louis XVI. He got himself crosswise with Robespierre and was thrown into prison, destined for the guillotine, when the tide turned against Robespierre and American diplomacy got him released.

While waiting in France until it was safe to sail to America, Paine wrote The Age of Reason. He also provided military advice to Napoleon Bonaparte about how to invade Britain. He returned to America upon the invitation Thomas Jefferson.

Nelson does a good job with the story of Paine’s life and adventures. His “grand theme” gets a little attenuated towards the end as he tried to tie everything together. But overall this is an entertaining overview of this Founding Father. ( )
  RoseCityReader | Aug 21, 2007 |
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. ( )
1 vote cmc | Apr 25, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
"Not to have knowledge if what happened before you were born is to be condemned to live forever as a child."
   -- Cicero
"The penalty good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves."
   -- Plato
"There have been so many writers who dominated a period and then slipped off. History is like some gigantic beast -- it simply wriggles its back and throws off whatever is on it."
   -- Arthur Miller
Dedication
For Rick
First words
Just before daybreak on or about September 25 in the year 1819, a fifty-six-year-old Englishman by the name of William Cobbett found himself twenty-two miles due north of New York City, stumbling pink-faced and ardent through the wild blackness of Westchester, followed by his son, J.P., and a hired hand.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670037885, Hardcover)

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 world’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 Nelson’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 Paine’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 meteor" 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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. Author Nelson's portrait brings him to life against the backdrop of the Revolutionary era and the intellectual exhilaration of the Age of Enlightenment. Nelson traces Paine's path from his years as a struggling London mechanic to his journey to seek his fortune in the New World; from his early career as a crusading pamphleteer to his emergence as the heroic voice of revolutionary fervor on two continents; from his escape from execution in Paris during The Terror to his final years in America, where the once-lionized patriot spent his final days impoverished and in dementia.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Craig Nelson is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
11 wanted2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 7
3.5 3
4 14
4.5 3
5 8

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 116,999,089 books! | Top bar: Always visible