About the Author
"Thomas Paine... was a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, liberal and intellectual. Born in Great Britain, he lived in America, having migrated to the American colonies just in time to take part in the American Revolution, mainly as the author of the powerful, widely read pamphlet, Common Sense (1776), advocating independence for the American Colonies from the Kingdom of Great Britain and of The American Crisis, supporting the Revolution.
Later, Paine was a great influence on the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791) as a guide to the ideas of the Enlightenment. Despite an inability to speak French, he was elected to the French National Assembly in 1792. Regarded as an ally of the Girondists, he was seen with increasing disfavour by the Montagnards and in particular by Robespierre.
Paine was arrested in Paris and imprisoned in December 1793; he was released in 1794. He became notorious with his book, The Age of Reason (1793-94), which advocated deism and took issue with Christian doctrines. While in France, he also wrote a pamphlet titled Agrarian Justice (1795), which discussed the origins of property and introduced a concept that is similar to a guaranteed minimum income.
Paine remained in France during the early Napoleonic Era, but condemned Napoleon's moves towards dictatorship, calling him "the completest charlatan that ever existed." Paine remained in France until 1802, when he returned to America on an invitation from Thomas Jefferson, who had been elected president.
Paine died at 59 Grove Street in Greenwich Village, New York City, on the morning of June 8, 1809." (Quote from wikipedia.org)