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Citizen Tom Paine

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  267 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Among Howard Fast's historical fiction, Citizen Tom Paine-one of America's all-time best-sellers-occupies a special place, for it restored to a generation of readers the vision of Paine's revolutionary passion as the authentic roots of our national beginnings. Fast gives us "a vivid picture of Paine's mode of writing, idiosyncrasies, and character-generous, nobly ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published May 5th 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1943)
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Theo Logos
The Tom Paine who Howard Fast creates in his excellent historical novel Citizen Tom Paine is not a traditionally sympathetic character. He is a course peasant with a chip on his shoulder, full of self-pity, usually rash, and often drunk, dirty, and mean. Yet through all of that, a fierce, pure light shines, that makes him the most compelling of characters, and an unlikely inspiring hero. Fast writes of him, "in the unshaven, hook-nosed, wigless head, there was something both fierce and ...more
Jul 22, 2012 Curtiss rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical-novel
After reading Howard Fast's book, "April Morning" about the first day of the American Revolution (see my review), I also bought "Citizen Tom Paine", another of Fast's historical novels - he wrote about one a year during the 40's and 50's, and it too is excellent. I found myself all wound up in knots reading the response to Paine's "Common Sense" throughout the colonies. This was after Bell, the publisher, originally planned on a run of 500 books, overpriced them at 2 shillings apiece because he ...more
Sep 11, 2013 Ali rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
خواندن اثار هوارد فاست کمک می کند تا تاریخ آمریکا را به گونه ای دیگر، از درون آینه ی ادبیات بشناسیم. اگرچه نه به آن دقت و جزئیات که تاریخ یک قرن فرانسه را می شود از طریق خواندن آثار بالزاک شناخت، با این همه هوارد فاست یک آمریکایی ست که با همه ی دید انتقادی نسبت به فرهنگ و تاریخ ملتش، هم چنان دلسوز مردم و میهن خود باقی مانده است. مهاجران را باجلان فرخی ترجمه کرده و انتشارات اساطیر در 1371 منتشر کرده است. نسل دوم را به فارسی ندیده ام. با وجودی که در برابر دیگر آثار هوارد فاست آنچنان درخشش ندارد، ...more
Katie Lynn
Jun 25, 2012 Katie Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The revolution goes on; a man does not make the revolution, not a thousand men, not an army and not a party; the revolution comes from the people as they reach toward God, and a little of God is in each person and each will not forget it. This it is the revolution when slaves shake their chains and the revolution when a strong man bends toward a weaker and says, "Here, comrade, is my arm." The revolution goes on and nothing stops it; but because the people are seeking what is good, not what is ...more
Erik Graff
May 29, 2014 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
Of all the writers of our American revolution with whom I became acquainted in high school, my favorite is Thomas Paine. This was also the case with the colonists themselves, Paine's publications being bestsellers upon issuance. While I'd learned something about the man back then, I'd not known about his later participation in the French revolution or about his life in Britain. Fast covers these as well as the personal side of the man in his novel.
Richard Epstein
I read this when I was just a boy and really liked it; but that was before I knew Howard Fast was a Communist who wanted to take away "The Adventures of Superman" and Steak 'n' Shake and the Cardinals and replace them with The Adventures of Stalin and grass-and-weed sandwiches and The Stalingrad Stalins. I wouldn't have liked it if I'd known. Honest, Sen. McCarthy.
James F
Jul 25, 2015 James F rated it really liked it
This is a historical novel, though at times it seems more like an imaginative biography. Thomas Paine has always been one of my favorite characters among the "founding fathers" of the United States. He was one of the few that was from a working class background rather than being a planter, merchant, lawyer or doctor; and he was the one American revolutionary who continued to support revolutionary beliefs in France and elsewhere in the world after most of the American leaders had settled into a ...more
Jon Zelazny
Apr 07, 2016 Jon Zelazny rated it really liked it
Tom Paine is less a full-blooded character in Howard Fast’s breakout historical novel than some tormented, ghostly cheerleader who drifts, ZELIG-like, in and out of the American and French revolutions. With so much of his life spent in utter decrepitude, it’s nothing short of miraculous that his passionate written appeals to the working class become the beating heart and defining ethos of the rebel colonies. And is there anything more American than rooting for a bum who becomes a hero?

Fast rare
Aug 16, 2016 Chuck rated it really liked it
This is an historical novel but it reads more like a text book with dialogue. It tells of Paine's lowly beginnings in England, his accidental meeting with Benjamin Franklin in London and his immigration, with Franklin's help, to America in 1774. His pursuit turned to journalism soon after and he got caught up with the idea of revolution. In 1776 with revolution in the wind and the public apathetic about fighting a war, he wrote Common Sense which explained in layman's terms the advantages of a ...more
May 18, 2016 Joseph rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Fast's Citizen Tom Paine was thoroughly enjoyable. This book requires some previous knowledge of the American and French Revolutions to be able to really immerse yourself in the story (John Jay being sent to England to hammer out the Jay Treaty and why it was necessary, Marat's murder, etc, are assumed the reader already knows these details, since Fast does little expansion on many events such as these). Fast also did little developing of any character other than Paine. Even Jefferson and ...more
Aug 14, 2011 abclaret rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Not Fast's best work but due to the importance of the topic one of his most widely read pieces. Details the events and the era that propelled Paine, from the encroaching independence on the American frontier, to industrially developing Britain to the political revolution in France. Interesting to see one man have such a tumultuous impact on the times, even going so far to represent France in congress despite not speaking the language!

Gives a good sympathetic background to the man and allows you
Feb 25, 2014 Sofia rated it liked it
Actually it's 3.5

Well, "Citizen Tom Paine" is an inspiring book! Don't get me wrong! However, it's not actually my cup of tea... In my opinion the book is more about the three Revolutions (it can even be repetitive at times in my opinion) than about its main character. You could say of course that Tom Paine's life was not only connected to, but synonymous with these historical events. This is true. His character's development throughout the book was very realistic and well portrayed. This fact c
Jennifer James
Oct 25, 2008 Jennifer James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Richard Rushfield
Recommended to Jennifer by: Donald Fenceton
This biography of Thomas Paine, author of "Common Sense," is a riveting as any thriller.
Paine has been neglected for decades because of his treatise on atheism. He was reviled as "godless" by the citizens of the United States -- even though those very citizens owed him an incalculable debt of gratitude.
Howard Fast has written this novelized version of his life that at times strains credulity -- did Thomas Paine actually meet Napoleon? Probably not. But this slight weakness in plotting is insigni
Pricilla Gutierrez
Jun 23, 2014 Pricilla Gutierrez rated it liked it
Maybe it was because this book was required, but I found it very slow and hard to get through. Other than that, it is a good book and accurately described the events of Tom Paine's life. It was very informative of the culture of the late 18th century. Howard Fast related this culture in a very well educated manner.
Apr 28, 2008 Oveis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: howard-fast
This noble is an example of the many revolutions. They have all the same end. At the end, it need's always a Revolution. And one who light a fire, first to be burned.
During the story, sometimes you think the story is boring. But when you see the whole story as one, you learn at least on thing...That's it!
Sean Allen
Sep 27, 2011 Sean Allen rated it did not like it
this book is very informative but not htta fun to read. many parts of this book can be confusing to those who dont know there history or dont like to read history books. some infromation is not needed and the french half is not as detailed as the american half.
Jul 28, 2010 khashayar rated it really liked it
Thomas Paine is no doubt one of the greatest citizens of the world. Even in his "unshaven, hook-nosed, wigless head", he was inspiring, the very soul of revolution. Fast's historical novel has masterly depicted his life and is certainly worth reading.
John Deltuvia
Feb 15, 2016 John Deltuvia rated it it was amazing
Without Tom Paine, the people of what is now called the United States of America would still be subjects of the United Kingdom; and yet what gratitude was shown him in his old age? Infamy indeed rests forever with the City of Trenton, NJ, and the City of
Jeremy Neel
Feb 10, 2012 Jeremy Neel rated it it was ok
Citizen Thomas Paine by Howard Fast was a fair book. It was very easy and repetitive. I didn't enjoy reading this book and found it to be boring. I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are fascinated with Thomas Paine or History.
Aug 13, 2013 Manar rated it it was amazing
Marvelous this novel was one of the first novels that I have read when I was 13 years old it is stuck in my head and one can read it over and over :)
Jan 21, 2009 Karen rated it liked it
Interesting book. I know I learned about him in school, but there's so much more....not all of it flattering.
Feb 19, 2016 Geraldine rated it it was amazing
I really like Howard Fast. Paine lived a really sad life but really contributed to America's beginning.
Gnikivulb rated it it was ok
Feb 16, 2012
Richard rated it liked it
Jun 03, 2011
Ahmad rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2011
Jul 29, 2009 LeaVa added it
Most interesting depiction of Paines life.
Dec 01, 2011 David rated it it was amazing
I read it in college in the 1970s.
بهمن بهمن
بهمن بهمن rated it it was ok
May 24, 2008
Alexa Avenell
Alexa Avenell rated it did not like it
Nov 15, 2010
Eric J.
Eric J. rated it really liked it
Aug 16, 2011
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Howard Fast (1914–2003) was one of the most prolific American writers of the twentieth century. He was a bestselling author of more than eighty works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays. The son of immigrants, Fast grew up in New York City and published his first novel upon finishing high school in 1933. In 1950, his refusal to provide the United States Congress with a list of possible ...more
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“Man is a part of God, or else he is a beast; and beasts know love and fear and hate and hunger--but not exultation” 2 likes
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