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Book DetailsISBN: 9780143122005
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Thomas Paine was born Thomas Pain in Thetford, England, on January 29, 1737, the son of a poor corset-maker. At age sixteen, Paine ran away from home and became a sailor during the Seven Years War. After the war he held several odd jobs for the British government and worked hard to supplement the little education he received as a child. While living in England in 1772, Paine wrote his first political pamphlet, The Case of the Officers of Excise. Paine came to America in 1774, was appointed editor of Pennsylvania Magazine and became active in the call for American independence from England. His revolutionary pamphlet, Common Sense, was published in 1776, sparking some of the first public calls for America to rid itself of British rule. He spent the next fifteen years of his life in England and France and wrote several more political pamphlets, including Rights of Man (1790), The Age of Reason(1794), and Agrarian Justice (1796). In 1802 Paine returned to the United States, where he died in June of 1809 in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. Richard Beeman, the John Welsh Centennial Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, has previously served as the Chair of the Department of History, Associate Dean in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of the College of Arts of Sciences. He serves as a trustee of the National Constitution Center and on the center's executive committee. Author of seven previous books, among themThe Penguin Guide to the United States ConstitutionandPlain Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, Professor Beeman has received numerous grants and awards including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Huntington Library. His biography of Patrick Henry was a finalist for the National Book Award."
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