Thomas Paine and Common Sense
Bliv bruger af LibraryThing, hvis du vil skrive et indlæg
Dette emne er markeret som "i hvile"—det seneste indlæg er mere end 90 dage gammel. Du kan vække emnet til live ved at poste et indlæg.
Calling Common Sense "the single most influential political work in American history," Liell, a member of the Thomas Paine National Historical Association, asks how, in a mere 46 pages, Paine persuaded American colonists that the only solution to their quarrels with Britain was independence. Liell introduces the anonymous pamphleteer, Paine, a former civil servant who witnessed the crown's abuses and, as a disaffected Englishman, knew how to speak to the colonists. While they had asserted their rights as British subjects, Liell explains, Paine called upon them to claim the natural, God-given rights of all men. Significantly, he also gave Americans both an identifiable enemy in the person of George III and a higher purpose-not merely national independence but the cause of liberty itself. Charting the pamphlet's spread throughout the colonies, from prominent statesmen to common citizens, Liell cites astounding sales and quotes contemporaries on its popularity. If the book's first two parts, a minibiography of Paine and the exegesis of Common Sense, sound like lectures, this third part, with its stacked quotations and tiresome repetition, reads like a term paper. In the epilogue, Liell simply summarizes Paine's subsequent career as a political writer. This colorless book hardly seems just recognition for one of liberty's most dedicated spokesmen and his revolutionary pamphlet. (May) Forecast: This is a selection of the History Book Club, Military Book Club and Reader's Book Club. A 50,000 first printing and blurbs from David McCullough and Joseph J. Ellis should spark sales.
I think I would still turn to Eric Foner's classic Tom Paine and Revolutionary America, republished in a 2nd edition in 2005. One could also simply read more Paine. The Library of America's Collected Writings is a very good collection.
Feel free to tell me why Publishers Weekly was wrong about 46 Pages.
Also the PW article is unsigned so I'm sure its some professor who couldn't get something published and is ticked. Sadly that's how it works in the history biz sometime.
I don't know why this is not repeated on PW's own page.