Book: Selected Writings of Thomas Paine

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Selected Writings of Thomas Paine

Edited by Ian Shapiro, Sterling Professor of Political Science, and Jane E. Calvert, associate professor of history at the University of Kentucky

(Yale University Press)

A central figure in Western history and American political thought, Thomas Paine continues to provoke debate among politicians, activists, and scholars. People of all ideological stripes are inspired by his defense of the rights and good sense of ordinary individuals, and his critiques of arbitrary power.


This volume contains Paine’s “Common Sense” in its entirety, including the oft-ignored Appendix, as well as selections from his other major writings: “The American Crisis,” “Rights of Man,” and “The Age of Reason.” It also contains several of Paine’s shorter essays. All the documents have been transcribed directly from the originals. Essays by Shapiro and Calvert, as well as by Jonathan Clark and Eileen Hunt Botting, bring Paine into sharp focus, illuminating his place in the tumultuous decades surrounding the American and French Revolutions and his larger historical legacy.

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