Portrays the life of one of democracy's greatest champions--a soldier, diplomat, and pamphleteer of the American Revolution who helped draft the French Constitution.
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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 -- Pauline Maier, The New York Times Book Review "It is hard to imagine this magnificent biography ever being superceded....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