Essential Thomas Paine

ISBN-10: 0486466000

ISBN-13: 9780486466002

Edition: 2008

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Description:

The impassioned democratic voice of the Age of Revolution, Paine possessed a gift for stating complex ideas in concise language. This accessible collection of highlights from the social and political philosopher's best-known works includes lengthy selections fromCommon Sense,The American Crisis,TheRights of Man, andThe Age of Reason.
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Book details

List price: $8.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Dover Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/14/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

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 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.

John Dos Passos, 1896 - 1970 John Passos was born January 14,1896 to John Randolph Dos Passos and Lucy Addison Sprigg Madison. He attended Harvard University from 1912-1916. He was in the ambulance service units in France and Italy and in 1918, enlisted in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. From 1926-29, he directed New Playwrights' Theatre in New York City. In 1929, Passos married Katharine Smith and in 1947, they were in an automobile accident that killed his wife and left him blind in one eye. He married Elizabeth Holdridge in 1949 and a year later, Lucy Hamlin Dos Passos was born. Passos' many novels include "One Man's Initiation" (1917), "Three Soldiers" (1921), which has met with wide acclaim, "Streets of Night" (1923), "Facing the Chair" (1927), which defends the immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti, "Orient Express" (1927), "The Ground We Stand On" (1949), and "Prospects of a Golden Age" (1959). He received the Gold Medal for fiction from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1957, the Feltrinelli Prize for Fiction in 1967 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1947. On September 28, 1970, Passos died of heart failure in Baltimore, Maryland.

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