Thomas Paine: Collected Writings (LOA #76): Common Sense / The American Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / pamphlets, articles, and letters

Library of America, 1995 M03 1 - 906 páginas
Thomas Paine was the impassioned democratic voice of the Age of Revolution, and this volume brings together his best-known works: Common Sense, The American Crisis, Rights of Man, The Age of Reason, along with a selection of letters, articles and pamphlets that emphasizes Paine's American years. “I know not whether any man in the world,” wrote John Adams in 1805, “has had more influence on its inhabitants or affairs for the last thirty years than Tom Paine.” The impassioned democratic voice of the Age of Revolution, Paine wrote for his mass audience with vigor, clarity, and “common sense.” This Library of America volume is the first major new edition of his work in 50 years, and the most comprehensive single-volume collection of his writings available. Paine came to America in 1774 at age 37 after a life of obscurity and failure in England. Within fourteen months he published Common Sense, the most influential pamphlet for the American Revolution, and began a career that would see him prosecuted in England, imprisoned and nearly executed in France, and hailed and reviled in the American nation he helped create. In Common Sense, Paine set forth an inspiring vision of an independent America as an asylum for freedom and an example of popular self-government in a world oppressed by despotism and hereditary privilege. The American Crisis, begun during “the times that try men’s souls” in 1776, is a masterpiece of popular pamphleteering in which Paine vividly reports current developments, taunts and ridicules British adversaries, and enjoins his readers to remember the immense stakes of their struggle. Among the many other items included in the volume are the combative “Forester” letters, written in a reply to a Tory critic of Common Sense, and several pieces concerning the French Revolution, including an incisive argument against executing Louis XVI. Rights of Man (1791–1792), written in response to Edmund Burke’s attacks on the French Revolution, is a bold vision of an egalitarian society founded on natural rights and unbound by tradition. Paine’s detailed proposal for government assistance to the poor inspired generations of subsequent radicals and reformers. The Age of Reason (1794–1795), Paine’s most controversial work, is an unrestrained assault on the authority of the Bible and a fervent defense of the benevolent God of deism. Included in this volume are a detailed chronology of Paine’s life, informative notes, an essay on the complex printing history of Paine’s work, and an index.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Páginas seleccionadas


Common Sense February 14 1776
The American Crisis Number I December 19 1776
The American Crisis Number II January 13 1777
The American Crisis Number III April 19 1777
The American Crisis Number IV September 12 1777
Prospects for War Between Britain and France
The Crisis Number VII November 11 1778
Portion of a Letter to Henry Laurens 1778?
Response to an Accusation of Bribery May 1 1782
The Crisis Number XI May 11 1782
To Sir Guy Carleton May 31 1782
The Last Crisis Number XIII April 19 1783
Commerce with Britain and the Necessity of Union
Attack on Paper Money Laws November 3 1786 364 Attack on Paper Money Laws November 3 1786
To George Washington May 1 1790
To the Abbé Sieyès July 8 1791

Response to the Riot Outside James Wilsons House
The Crisis Number IX June 9 1780
Public Good December 30 1780
Common Sense on the King of Englands Speech
Common Sense on Financing the War March 5 1782
The Necessity of Taxation April 4 1782
Shall Louis XVI Have Respite? January 19 1793
Agrarian Justice Spring 1797
To Samuel Adams January 1 1803
The Construction of Iron Bridges June 13 1803
Of the Term Liberty of the Press October 20 1806
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Acerca del autor (1995)

Eric Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of Tom Paine and Revolutionary America, among many other works. His most recent book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery won the Pulitzer, Bancroft, and Lincoln prizes for 2011.

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