The Transatlantic Republican

Thomas Paine and the Age of Revolutions


This collection of essays by Bernard Vincent covers most aspects of Thomas Paine’s life, thought, and works. It highlights Paine’s contribution to the American and French Revolutions, as well as the active role he played in the intellectual debates of the Age of Enlightenment, in particular through his heated arguments with Edmund Burke or the Abbé Raynal. More than two centuries later, those debates—on the ‘universal’ nature of human rights or the ‘exceptionalism’ of the American experience—seem today to be more relevant than ever.
Not only have Common Sense, Rights of Man and The Age of Reason become classics of Anglo-American literature, but, from the moment they appeared, they ushered in a new type of writer, a new way of writing—and a new class of readers. How Paine stormed the “Bastille of Words,” and in so doing served both the “republic” of letters and the cause of democracy, is the real subject of this book.

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”…an indispensable tool to study the American Revolution and its impact on Europe, or simply Thomas Paine as a writer or an American character […] The book is written in a simple, efficient manner and undoubtedly reaches its goal.” in: Transatlantica, Vol. 2006-1
“…lucid essays…” in: The European Legacy, Vol. 11, No. 7, 2006
“This book was both stimulating and a pleasure to read for the author writes extremely well, almost Painite in style…” – R.W. Morrell, in: Journal of Radical History, Vol. 7, No. 4, Spring 2005, pp.16-18
Introduction Storming the “Bastille of Words”: Tom Paine’s Revolution in Writing Part I. Paine, America and France I The Strategy of Time in Common Sense II Thomas Paine, the Masonic Order, and the American Revolution III From Fact to Myth: The Americans in Paris during the French Revolution IV Paine’s “Share” in the French Revolution V Thomas Paine, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Rights of Man VI A National of Nowhere: The Problem of Thomas Paine’s American Citizenship Part II. Paine and the Enlightenment VII Thomas Paine and the Issue of Universal Suffrage VIII Paine’s Agrarian Justice and the Birth of the Welfare State IX A Quaker with a Difference: Tom Paine’s Republican Rhetoric of War and Peace X From the Rights of Man to the Rights of God: Thomas Paine’s Ultimate Challenge XI A Pioneer with a Difference: Thomas Paine and Early ‘American Studies’ Bibliography Index