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Thomas Paine and the Literature of Revolution

Thomas Paine and the Literature of Revolution

$113.00 (C)

  • Date Published: June 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521841153

$ 113.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Thomas Paine has been celebrated for his role in persuading the American colonists to revolt against Britain and declare their independence. At the same time, however, scholars have generally dismissed his writings as propaganda. This book demonstrates that Paine was a skilled and sophisticated writer and thinker who transformed political literature in the late eighteenth century by creating a new literature of politics that bridged political philosophy and the everyday, common-sensical knowledge of ordinary people. The impact of this new political language would be remarkable as it energized a mass public to participate in the arena of politics, an arena from which they had been excluded.

    • Interdisciplinary study that incorporates literary analysis, historical inquiry, and political philosophy
    • Treats Paine as a transatlantic figure whose career spanned England, the US, and France
    • Engages the fullness of Paine's career rather than focusing on one or two texts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Edward Larkin's impressive study of Paine's literary achievement takes such moments of rhetorical complexity seriously. This book is really the first to assess Paine's place in eighteenth-century print culture by analyzing a broad range of his writings...Larkin offers historical context and careful rhetorical analysis of well-known writings such as Common Sense, The Rights of Man (1791), and The Age of Reason (1794–95), as well as the less canonical Letter to the Abbé Raynal (1782) and The Letter to George Washington (1796)....The most impressive features of this book are Larkin's willingness to creatively reconceptualize genre and his ability to find important figurative and thematic relations within the Paine canon."
    -William and Mary Quarterly

    "the analysis of Paine's writings is illuminating. If there are some who still doubt the sophistication of Paine's thought and the seriousness of purpose with which he challenged hierarchy, Larkin's cogent book should convince them otherwise." -Matthew Rainbow Hale, Goucher College

    "Larkin's study should strengthen Paine's reputation, and this study should become an important s tarting point for students and teachers of teh Revolutionary period. Larkin has done Paine, and us, a great service." - Scott Slawinksi, Western Michigan University

    "Only in htel ast few decades have scholars begun to take a balanced view of Paine, and a recent spate of books and articles on his tempestuous career and powerful pen bode well for a fuller understanding of this itnriguing individual. Among the best of these recent works, Edward Larkin's literary study of Paine's prose is a much needed complement of the political, historical, and philosophical emphases of other books and articles. Larkin reconstructs the significance of Paine's editorship of the Pennsylvania Magazine as a touchstone for the idea of an inclusive American public." - Ben Ponder, Northwestern University The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521841153
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Inventing an American public: the Pennsylvania Magazine and revolutionary American political discourse
    2. 'Could the Wolf Bleat Like the Lamb': Paine's critique of the early American public sphere
    3. Writing revolutionary history
    4. The science of revolution: technological metaphors and scientific methodology in Rights of Man and The Age of Reason
    5. 'Strong Friends and Violent Enemies': the historical construction of Thomas Paine through the nineteenth century
    Epilogue: Paine and nineteenth-century American literary history
    Works cited

  • Author

    Edward Larkin, University of Delaware

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