Thomas Paine – Lecture Series Presenters

Eric Foner

Eric Foner

Eric Foner is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. His books include Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War; Tom Paine and Revolutionary America; and the highly acclaimed Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, which received five awards, including the Bancroft and Parkman prizes. Since its publication in 1976, Tom Paine and Revolutionary America has been recognized as a classic study of the career of the foremost political pamphleteer of the Age of Revolution, and a model of how to integrate the political, intellectual, and social history of the struggle for American independence. He explores Paine’s political and social ideas and the way he popularized them by pioneering a new form of political writing, using simple, direct language and addressing himself to a reading public far broader than previous writers had commanded. He shows which of Paine’s views remained essentially fixed throughout his career, while directing attention to the ways his stance on social questions evolved under the pressure of events. It also offers new insights into the nature and internal tensions of the republican outlook that helped to shape the Revolution.

Jack Fruchtman

Jack Fruchtman

Jack Fruchtman is member of the Towson University faculty where he teaches courses on the origins of the Constitution, federalism, separation of powers, and the commerce clause, civil rights and civil liberties, privacy and criminal law, criminal justice, Terrorism and the Constitution, and Legal Theory. He serves as the Director of the Program in Law and American Civilization, which gives students an excellent background in the political, historical, and philosophical context of the American legal system. Fruchtman is author of Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom, which is both a biography of the controversial Founding Father and an analysis of his works. Known as “the Voice of the Revolution,” Paine was a truly original thinker, a man whose magnificent, freedom-loving spirit is richly captured in this major biography. He is also author of Atlantic Cousins: Benjamin Franklin and His Visionary Friends which documents developments from Thomas Paine’s smokeless candles to the founding of the University of Pennsylvania; the debate that led to the Declaration of Independence; the abolitionist movement both in America and abroad; and shows just how Ben Franklin and his circle of friends shaped this unique and remarkable period in history.

Harvey Kaye

Harvey Kaye

Harvey J. Kaye is Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Social Change and Development, Director of the Center for History and Social Change at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and executor of the George Rud Literary Estate. His previous books include Why Do Ruling Classes Fear History? and Other Questions, The Powers of the Past, and The British Marxist Historians. He is the author of Thomas Paine and the Promise of America, showing how Paine turned Americans into radicals, the author presents the nation’s democratic story with wit, subtlety, and, above all, passion. Paine was one of the most remarkable political writers of the modern world and the greatest radical of a radical age. According to Eric Foner, “In this fascinating study, Harvey Kaye rediscovers Thomas Paine’s central place in an American radical tradition stretching from the Revolution to the present, and reminds us how Paine’s words still resonate in American society today.” Or, as noted historian Christopher Hitchens observes, “If the rights of man are to be upheld in a dark time, we shall require an age of reason. Harvey Kaye’s lucid work helps create the free citizen’s memorial to Thomas Paine, who is still shamefully unacknowledged by the democratic republic that he lived and died to bring about.”

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