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homas Paine in his own words is a book created to celebrate one of America’s most consequential yet under appreciated Founding Fathers. The emphasis here is placed directly on Paine’s writings, which were of primary importance especially in the very earliest days of the American Revolution. Thomas Paine continued to pressure England until the end of the war, seven years later. He then focused on liberating England itself from its long-held monarchy and Royal line of succession. After officials threatened him with sedition and treason Paine sailed to Paris where he participated in the French Revolution and, as a consequence, nearly lost his head in the Reign of Terror. Years later, returning to the country now known as the United States of America, Paine wrote about how the country had changed from its idealistic beginnings.

Thomas Paine is best known for his pamphlet Common Sense, which he wrote in 1776 at the beginning of the American Revolution. This pamphlet sold an astounding 100,000 copies (some historians claim as many as 500,000 copies) in a country with a population at the time of only two and a half million people. If one accounts for the general literacy rate, almost everyone in America would have read or had Paine’s work read to them. Common Sense, like all of Paine’s writing is extraordinary for the time in that it was written in clear and direct prose. He was writing both to those in power, and to ordinary citizens. At the end of Thomas Paine’s life he wrote a series of works titled Letters to America where he again addresses the general population and speaks to the changes he sees in his adopted country warning about how the factions have lost sight of the founding principles.

Bracketed by the two ends of Thomas Paine’s literary career, Thomas Paine in his own words explores these and his other writings and adds events from his life that show an engaged and idealistic character always thinking about the forms of governance and how society could be more democratic, transparent and just. Thomas Paine’s life and writings touched many of the better known individuals of the period who we consider founding fathersBenjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe. Reading Paine’s words over his lifetime, one is struck by his optimism in believing that man could create fair and equitable government, that society could educate its citizens and provide a framework to assist citizens in need. Harlow Unger lists the kinds of social reforms that Paine called for in his book, Thomas Paine and the Clarion Call for American Independence; government subsidies and public housing for the poor, free universal education, pre- and post-natal care for women, universal social security with government payments to everyone fifty years or older, inheritance tax, property taxes on the lands of the aristocrats and a progressive income tax to reduce inequality between rich and poor, and an end to slavery and to monarchy. It is quite a list which shows just how far ahead of his time Thomas Paine was.

Thomas Paine in his own words includes six pages of calligraphy by Thomas Ingmire, five multicolor plus one black and white. Among his awards, Thomas Ingmire has been elected to The Society of Scribes and Illuminators in London, the first American and first person outside of the UK to be elected to this status. For this book Thomas Ingmire has extracted quotes from Thomas Paine’s sagacious writings and brought the words alive on the page. This calligraphy is printed letterpress using photo-polymer plates.

Thomas Paine in his own words is designed, printed and bound by Peggy Gotthold and Lawrence Van Velzer at Foolscap Press. The book is printed letterpress on Hahnemühle Bugra paper in Caslon type and signed by the calligrapher. The numbered edition is limited to 90 copies for sale and 15 copies for the participants. The book measures 10 x 15.25 inches. The price is $950. Charges for shipping are based on the weight and destination, and may be billed separately. We will send a separate invoice for shipping after you order and when we are able to determine the shipping charge.
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Thomas Paine in his own words for $950