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Tracing the life of one of the most highly regarded political figures of his generation, this work presents both the public and private sides of Paine's life. It was written by the author of "The Media and Democracy".
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Keane commences in a bracing way by dryly noting a macabre landmark in the English neighborhood of Paine's birth, a place named Gallows Hill. As symbol for Paines' antipathy to autocracy, Keane could not have chosen a more potent object than that scaffold. For much of his life, accused as a rebel in America, accused as a seditious libeler in England (for writing The Rights of Man), and accused as a counterrevolutionary by the French Committee of Public Safety, Paine stood liable to capital punishment, an end he barely evaded in 1794. Keane concentrates on covering Paine's involvement with the practical political issues in the three countries of which he was successively a citizen. This activity peaked with his vote against condemning Louis XVI. By distinguishing his biography with the political emphasis--without neglecting the essentials of Paine's pamphleteering--Keane reveals an infrequently inspected side of the famous polemicist, a man who for all his gifts, as Keane often interjects, was hampered by vain self-importance. He died a pauper; however, libraries that stock this superb account of an extraordinary life will be rich. Gilbert TaylorFrom Publishers Weekly:
English-born radical journalist Thomas Paine, who in 1774 immigrated to America, where his pamphlets helped spark the Revolution, was a world citizen who preached the abolition of despotic regimes. A staunch opponent of slavery, Paine (1737-1809) also spoke of Native Americans as his "brothers." This flesh-and-blood portrait charts a life pulsating with drama, surprises and narrow escapes, while also situating Paine's intellectual development in the context of his time. Keane, a professor of politics in London, gives us a generous, farsighted foe of hypocrisy and injustice who could also be conceited and dogmatic. In Paris, serving as a member of the National Convention, Paine was imprisoned (1793-94) and nearly guillotined during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror. Upon his inglorious return to the U.S. in 1802, he was vilified as an atheist and monster. Paine slipped into depression, poverty and obscurity, but this gripping biography restores his luster and contemporary relevance. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Bloomsbury, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110747520070
Book Description Bloomsbury, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0747520070