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Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom

by Jack Fruchtman

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Thomas Paine (1737-1809), the man who gave the name to the United States, became known as the Voice of the Revolution. Paine was one of the most radical and outspoken figures of the eighteenth century - an independent thinker on a level with Voltaire and Goethe. The self-educated former tax collector was famed for his fiery disposition and brilliant way with words in defense of liberty. A cabin boy on board a privateer, twice married, first an official and later a victim of the French revolutionary government, at odds with his fellow American rebels, and constantly beset by money problems, Paine lived a full and exciting life. In addition to his better known accomplishments, he designed bridges, a "smokeless candle" and a detailed plan for the invasion of Britain - and all this from a man who abruptly turned from being a craftsman to a statesman at the age of thirty-seven. Together with his colleagues Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, Paine provided the philosophical underpinnings for the new nation. He is best known for his radical works The Age of Reason, Rights of Man, and, above all, Common Sense.… (more)
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Thomas Paine (1737-1809), the man who gave the name to the United States, became known as the Voice of the Revolution. Paine was one of the most radical and outspoken figures of the eighteenth century - an independent thinker on a level with Voltaire and Goethe. The self-educated former tax collector was famed for his fiery disposition and brilliant way with words in defense of liberty. A cabin boy on board a privateer, twice married, first an official and later a victim of the French revolutionary government, at odds with his fellow American rebels, and constantly beset by money problems, Paine lived a full and exciting life. In addition to his better known accomplishments, he designed bridges, a "smokeless candle" and a detailed plan for the invasion of Britain - and all this from a man who abruptly turned from being a craftsman to a statesman at the age of thirty-seven. Together with his colleagues Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, Paine provided the philosophical underpinnings for the new nation. He is best known for his radical works The Age of Reason, Rights of Man, and, above all, Common Sense.

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