In 1776, America was a hotbed of enlightenment and revolution. Thomas Paine not only spurred his fellow Americans to action but soon came to symbolize the spirit of the Revolution. His elegantly persuasive pieces spoke to the hearts and minds of those fighting for freedom. He was later outlawed in Britain, jailed in France, and finally labeled an atheist upon his return to America.
"No writer has exceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style; in perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, and in simple unassuming language."--Thomas Jefferson
About the Author
English-born Thomas Paine left behind hearth and home for adventures on the high seas at nineteen. Upon returning to shore, he became a tax officer, and it was this job that inspired him to write The Case of the Officers of Excise in 1772. Paine then immigrated to Philadelphia, and in 1776 he published Common Sense, a defense of American independence from England. After returning to Europe, Paine wrote his famous Rights of Man as a response to criticism of the French Revolution. He was subsequently labeled as an outlaw, leading him to flee to France where he joined the National Convention. However, in 1793 Paine was imprisoned, and during this time he wrote the first part of The Age of Reason, an anti-church text which would go on to be his most famous work. After his release, Paine returned to America where he passed away in 1809.
“No writer has exceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style; in perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, and in simple unassuming language.” —Thomas Jefferson