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Thomas Paine was the quintessential revolutionary. No other person captured so well the explosiveness of the last quarter of the eighteenth century. In 1805 John Adams, long a critic of Paine, condemned the labeling of the era as the Age of Reason the title of Paine's last major work. Admitting that no other "man in the world has had more influence on its inhabitants or affairs for the last thirty years than Tom Paine," Adams satirically suggested that this revolutionary era be called "the Age of Paine." Paine was a complex man. Each of his fifty biographers since his death in 1809 has failed to unveil the full person. Because he will always be different things to different people, it is unlikely we shall ever fully understand this enigmatic man. Joel Barlow, one of Paine's closest friends, was perhaps right when he wrote that Paine's "own writings are his best life." Taking Barlow's advice, this compilation of over 1,000 quotations on 450 topics draws exclusively from the genius of Tom Paine. Accompanied by an insightful and concise biography, this totally unique volume broadens and deepens our understanding and appreciation of this remarkable revolutionary, whose vision of a humane and democratic society shaped a philosophy for his time that still speaks to us today."