The Legacy of Thomas Paine in the Transatlantic World: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Legacy of Thomas Paine in the Transatlantic World

1st Edition

Edited by Sam Edwards, Marcus Morris


248 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-11-21
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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.

Table of Contents

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.

[Michael Holm]

4. The Distortion of Thomas Paine’s Philosophy of Government

[Gary Berton]

Part II: Discovering and Using Paine’s Radicalism

5. "Revolutions Are the Order of the Day": Atlantic Fragments of Thomas Paine, c. 1819-1832

[Matteo Battistini]

6. Posthumous Paine in the United Kingdom, 1809-1832: Jacobin or Loyalist Cult?

[Matthew Roberts]

7. "The Neglect of Paine Seems Particularly Strange at the Present Political Juncture": Explaining British Socialists’ Relationship to Paine, c. 1884-1914

[Marcus Morris]

8. Citizens of the World: Paine and the Political Prisoners Transported to Australia

[Tony Moore]

Part III: Remembering and Remaking Paine

9. Common Sense on the Lower East Side: Thomas Paine and the Era of Immigration, c. 1900-1950

[Louis Mazzari]

10. "A Monument in Every City?": Thomas Paine in Memoriam

[Theodore Marotta]

11. "He Came from America Didn’t He?": The Thetford Statue Controversy and the Problem of Paine in Transatlantic Memory, c. 1909-1970

[Sam Edwards]

Afterword:The Struggle for Paine’s Memory and the Making of American Democracy

[Harvey J. Kaye]

About the Editors

Sam Edwards is Senior Lecturer in American History at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Marcus Morris is Lecturer in Modern European History at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Historiography
HISTORY / Revolutionary
HISTORY / Study & Teaching
HISTORY / Social History