Thomas Paine And the Promise of America

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Traces the revolutionary spirit that runs through American history, and whose founding father and greatest advocate was Thomas Paine, showing how Paine turned Americans into radicals--and how we have remained radicals at heart ever since. Paine was one of the most remarkable political writers of the modern world, and the greatest radical of a radical age. Through his writings, he not only turned America's colonial rebellion into a revolutionary war but, as Kaye demonstrates, articulated an American identity charged with purpose and promise. Beginning with Paine's life and ideas and following their influence through to our own day, Kaye reveals how, while the powers that be repeatedly sought to suppress, defame, and co-opt Paine's memory, generations of radical and liberal Americans have turned to Paine for inspiration as they endeavored to expand American freedom, equality, and democracy.--From publisher description.