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Thomas Paine (1) (1737–1809)

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Born to parents with Quaker leanings, Thomas Paine grew up amid modest circumstances in the rural environs of Thetford, England. As the recipient of what he termed "a good moral education and a tolerable stock of useful learning," little in Paine's early years seemed to suggest that he would one visa mer day rise to a stunning defense of American independence in such passionate and compelling works as Common Sense (1776) and The American Crisis essays (1776-83). Paine's early years were characterized by a constant struggle to remain financially solvent while pursuing a number of nonintellectual activities. Nevertheless, the young Paine read such Enlightenment theorists as Isaac Newton and John Locke and remained dedicated to the idea that education was a lifelong commitment. From 1753 to 1759, Paine worked alternately as a sailor, a staymaker, and a customs officer. Between 1759 and 1772, he married twice. His first wife died within a year of their marriage, and Paine separated amicably from his second wife after a shop they operated together went bankrupt. While these circumstances seemed gloomy, Paine fortuitously made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin in London in 1773. Impressed by Paine's self-education, Franklin encouraged the young man to venture to America where he might prosper. Arriving in Philadelphia in 1774, Paine quickly found himself energized by the volatile nature of Revolutionary politics. Working as an editor of Pennsylvania Magazine, Paine found a forum for his passionate radical views. In the years that followed, Paine became increasingly committed to American independence, and to his conviction that the elitist and corrupt government that had ruled over him in England had little business extending its corrosive colonial power to the States. Moved by these beliefs, Paine published Common Sense (1776), a test that proved invaluable in unifying American sentiment against British rule. Later, after joining the fray as a soldier, Paine penned the familiar lines in "The American Crisis": "These are the times that try men's souls." Fifteen years later, Paine wrote his other famous work, Rights of Man (1791). Drawing on his eclectic experiences as a laborer, an international radical politician, and a revolutionary soldier, Paine asserted his Lockeian belief that since God created humans in "one degree only," then rights should be equal for every individual. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: From Wikimedia Commons


Verk av Thomas Paine

Sunt förnuft (1776) 5,194 exemplar
Människans rättigheter (1791) 2,357 exemplar
The Age of Reason (1794) 1,540 exemplar
Common Sense and Other Writings (2005) 534 exemplar
Reflections on the Revolution in France & The Rights of Man (1955) — Författare — 298 exemplar
The Thomas Paine Reader (1987) 281 exemplar
The Crisis (1776) 237 exemplar
Paine: Political Writings (1978) 133 exemplar
Common Sense and the Crisis (1776) 91 exemplar
Common Sense and Other Works (2019) 53 exemplar
Age of Reason, Part 1 (Paine) (1957) 38 exemplar
Keystone of Democracy (2005) 33 exemplar
The Theological Works (1879) 14 exemplar
The writings of Thomas Paine (1906) 8 exemplar
Escritos políticos (1964) — Bidragsgivare — 7 exemplar
Selected Work of Tom Paine (1945) 4 exemplar
Rights of man. pt. 2 (2012) 4 exemplar
Age of Reason Part 2 (2001) 3 exemplar
Krise I-IV (2009) 3 exemplar
Essays (2022) 2 exemplar
Compact maritime 2 exemplar
Krise V-XIII (2009) 2 exemplar
Works (2013) 2 exemplar
Direitos do Homem Livro 1 (1998) 1 exemplar
Federal orrery 1 exemplar
Selected Writings 1 exemplar
Rights of Man, Part I (1892) 1 exemplar
Liberty tree (1864) 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The American Revolution, Writings from the War of Independence (2001) — Bidragsgivare — 648 exemplar
Amerikan i Paris (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 298 exemplar
Atheism: A Reader (2000) — Bidragsgivare — 184 exemplar
World's Great Adventure Stories (1929) — Bidragsgivare — 75 exemplar
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition (2003) — Bidragsgivare — 68 exemplar
Meeting of Minds: First Series (1978) — Subject — 57 exemplar
Writing Politics: An Anthology (2020) — Bidragsgivare — 36 exemplar
The Dissenters : America's Voices of Opposition (1993) — Bidragsgivare — 34 exemplar
American Literature: The Makers and the Making (In Two Volumes) (1973) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor25 exemplar
The Druid Revival Reader (2011) — Bidragsgivare — 19 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



Thomas Paine and Common Sense i American History (januari 2007)


Paine’s impassioned argument for American Independence was a best seller in the country its initial printing and it has remained in print ever since . This 1997 Dover Thrift reprint of the “new” 1776 edition starts with his idea that monarchy is nonsense and proceeds with his reasons why the colonies south of Canada are right in demanding independence, then proceeds to attack the reasons and persons who disagree, citing other thinkers who agree with him. He is insistent that now is the time for this to happen. Independence should not be delayed. It is not time to hesitate or negotiate; it is time to act.… (mer)
MaowangVater | 58 andra recensioner | Dec 8, 2023 |
Stirring and persuasive, Thomas Paine's short polemic Common Sense retains the passion and immediacy of the moment in which it was written: 1776, with Paine's fellow Americans in rebellion against their British parent. On one level, it is an argument against monarchy in general, but from this angle it is quite limited. Excitable and populist, using naked rhetoric to appeal to the emotions of its intended audience, it lacks the rigour such an argument requires – though it is still fun to read. Paine's appeals to Scripture to validate his case seem cynical given the atheism – or at least anti-theism – he espoused.

However, the argument against monarchy is merely the platform on which Paine pursues his true cause. Common Sense is primarily a plea for Paine's fellow Americans to seize their moment and establish their independence, for "no nation under heaven hath such an advantage as this" (pg. 54). He is right – America at that moment possessed strategic and commercial advantages, raw materials, reasonable military power, favourable political circumstances and politicians with the calibre to exploit them. It had momentum, and it's fascinating to detect the note of desperation, or at least unease, in Paine's writing here, that that momentum may be squandered.

We might look back now and see the United States as inevitable, given those advantages and circumstances, but might forget that it was Paine, among others, working frantically at the bellows. In this slight pamphlet, intended for a general audience, we can find the seeds of much of the United States' perception of itself; its political exceptionalism, its libertarian sensibility and its appeal to noble ideals. (We might also, perhaps a bit uncharitably, detect America's selective pursuit of those ideals, such as in Paine's off-hand dismissal of the "Indians and Negroes" who the British "hath stirred up… to destroy us" (pg. 45).)

A stable society, Paine writes in one of his more sober and analytical moments, involves a healthy and mutually-supportive relationship between government and governed; "this frequent interchange will establish a common interest… on this (and not on the unmeaning name of king) depends the strength of government, and the happiness of the governed" (pg. 8). 'Common sense', then, has a double meaning as Paine's title. It is not just Paine proposing that his argument is the only one that makes sense, the only one that discards of the nonsense of kings. The polemic, in its passion for an American republic borne out of revolution, provided for Americans a common sense, a shared vision or idea, of what they should seek to be.
… (mer)
MikeFutcher | 58 andra recensioner | Nov 4, 2023 |
I read this in college. The second time reading it, I was even more awed by the insightfulness of Paine. His view of politics is just as relevant today as it was when he wrote it. Sad that history keeps repeating the same political experiments, with new generations expecting different results.
JoniMFisher | 28 andra recensioner | Oct 26, 2023 |



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Eric Foner Editor, Introduction
J. M. Opal Editor
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James Madison Contributor
Gregory Claeys Contributor
Ottobah Cugoano Contributor
Robert A. Ferguson Contributor
Hannah More Contributor
Gary Kates Contributor
George Washington Contributor
Richard Price Contributor
Thomas Jefferson Contributor
John Jay Contributor
Alexander Hamilton Contributor
Walter Dixon Narrator
Laurent Dabos Illustrator
Gregory Tietjen Introduction
Jaume Ortolà Translator
Carla Maggiori Translator
Teresa Pelka Translator
Diana Gabaldon Introduction
Alan Taylor Introduction
Tony Benn Introduction
Zola Illustrator
Lothar Meinzer Herausgeber
Gregory Tietjen Introduction
W. Stitt Robinson Introduction
Auguste Millière Illustrator
Thomas Warburton Translator
Arthur Seldon Introduction
Lynd Ward Illustrator
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Peter Linebaugh Introduction
Henrik Eismark Translator


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