Tom Paine by John Keane
A Political Life

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"More than any other public figure of the eighteenth century, Tom Paine strikes our times like a trumpet blast from a distant world." So begins John Keane's magnificent and award-winning (the Fraunces Tavern Book Award) biography of one of democracy's greatest champions. Among friends and enemies alike, Paine earned a reputation as a notorious pamphleteer, one of the greatest political figures of his day, and the author of three best-selling books, Common Sense, The Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason. Setting his compelling narrative against a vivid social backdrop of prerevolutionary America and the French Revolution, John Keane melds together the public and the shadowy private sides of Paine's life in a remarkable piece of scholarship. This is the definitive biography of a man whose life and work profoundly shaped the modern age. "Provide[s] an engaging perspective on England, America, and France in the tumultuous years of the late eighteenth century." -- Pauline Maier, The New York Times Book Review "It is hard to imagine this magnificent biography ever being superceded.... It is a stylish, splendidly erudite work." -- Terry Eagleton, The Guardian

About John Keane

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John Keane is Director of te Centre for the Study of Democracy and Professor of Politics at the polytechnic of Central London.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 576 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Nothing really new here (despite occasional sniping at minor errors by previous Paine biographers) but a solid, well-written portrait that reiterates Paine's ongoing importance in contemporary discussions of democracy's potential and perils.

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