As early as 1892, Moncure Conway, the author of the first scholarly Paine biography, noted that whilst Paine’s life up to 1809 was certainly fascinating, his subsequent life – that is, his afterlife – was even more thrilling. Vilified by Theodore Roosevelt as a "filthy little atheist," yet employed by Ronald Reagan in his campaign to make America "great again," Paine’s words and ideas have been both celebrated and dismissed by generations of politicians and presidents. An Englishman by birth, an American by adoption, and a Frenchman by decree, Paine has been invoked and appropriated by groups and individuals across the transatlantic political spectrum. This was particularly apparent following the bicentennial of Paine’s death in 2009, an event that prompted new scholarship examining troublesome Tom’s ideas and ideals, whilst in Thetford, Lewes and New Rochelle – his three transatlantic "homes" – he was feted and commemorated. Yet despite all this interest, the precise forms and function of Paine’s post-mortem presence have still not received the attention they deserve. With essays authored by experts on both sides of the Atlantic (and beyond), this book examines the transatlantic afterlife of Thomas Paine, offering new insights into the ways in which he has been used and abused, remembered and represented, in the two hundred years since his death.
Introduction: The Use and Abuse of Thomas Paine in the Transatlantic World
[Sam Edwards and Marcus Morris]
Part I: The Image and Idea(s) of Paine: Origins, Use and Reuse
1. The Image of Tom: Paine in Print and Portraiture
[W. A. Speck]
2. "I Am Made to Say What I Never Wrote": Deism, Spiritualism and Ventriloquizing Paine, c. 1790s-1850s
[Patrick W. Hughes]
3. All Paine: The American Mind and the Creation of the League of Nations and the U.N.
4. The Distortion of Thomas Paine’s Philosophy of Government
Part II: Discovering and Using Paine’s Radicalism
5. "Revolutions Are the Order of the Day": Atlantic Fragments of Thomas Paine, c. 1819-1832
6. Posthumous Paine in the United Kingdom, 1809-1832: Jacobin or Loyalist Cult?
7. "The Neglect of Paine Seems Particularly Strange at the Present Political Juncture": Explaining British Socialists’ Relationship to Paine, c. 1884-1914
8. Citizens of the World: Paine and the Political Prisoners Transported to Australia
Part III: Remembering and Remaking Paine
9. Common Sense on the Lower East Side: Thomas Paine and the Era of Immigration, c. 1900-1950
10. "A Monument in Every City?": Thomas Paine in Memoriam
11. "He Came from America Didn’t He?": The Thetford Statue Controversy and the Problem of Paine in Transatlantic Memory, c. 1909-1970
Afterword:The Struggle for Paine’s Memory and the Making of American Democracy
[Harvey J. Kaye]