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Tom Paine: A Political Life
by John Keane
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316484199, Hardcover)A definitive biography portrays the life of one of democracy's greatest champions--a soldier, diplomat, and pamphleteer of the American Revolution who helped draft the French Constitution--and reveals tensions, discoveries, and dramatic surprises. 15,000 first printing.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:44 -0400)
"More than any other public figure of the eighteenth century, Tom Paine (1737-1809) strikes our times like a trumpet blast from a distant world." So begins John Keane's magnificent biography of one of democracy's greatest champions, a man whose familiarity to us is partly traceable to his own stupendous achievements. Coming from humble beginnings in Thetford, England, Paine later bred intense public excitement with his every move. Among friends and enemies alike, he earned a reputation as the greatest political figure of his day and the author of the eighteenth century's three bestselling books.Variously employed in England as a corset maker, ship's hand, Methodist lay preacher, exciseman, and writer who dabbled in public affairs, he later became the key pamphleteer in the American Revolution and author of Common Sense, an intellectual cornerstone of American democracy. In Britain, his Rights of Man frightened the establishment. Paine was also twice invited to France, where he helped draft the 1793 constitution, narrowly escaped the guillotine during the Terror, and wrote the most explosive modern plea for secularism, The Age of Reason. Setting his compelling narrative against a vivid social backdrop, John Keane melds together the public and private sides of Paine's life in a remarkable piece of scholarship, which is also thrilling to read. Meticulously researched and drawing on newly available material from the United States and Europe, this is the definitive biography of a man whose life and work have an uncanny resonance for our times.
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