Jake's Reviews > The Crisis

The Crisis by Thomas Paine
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's review
Jul 06, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: history, politics
Recommended for: United States citizens.
Read 3 times. Last read July 1, 2007.

A couple years ago I started a new tradition for myself. Every year on July 4th, I dust off my Thomas Paine book and read The American Crisis. For students of the American Revolution, this stirring tract is essential reading. It begins with those words, “These are the times that try men’s souls…” In my opinion an even more powerful line occurs later in the work when Mr. Paine says, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so my children may have peace.”
On my reading this year, I was struck by the wrath that Mr. Paine wanted to call down on both British and British sympathizers. A historian I saw on The History Channel indicated Mr. Paine is rightfully a founding father, but has a lower historical status because he was too extreme. Truly, he was a polemic writer, but a damn good one who helped galvanize support behind Gen. George Washington at a critical time.
Though portions of this piece detailing specific battlefield engagements may be unfamiliar, and therefore less meaningful today, the bulk of the work resonates powerfully today. Thomas Paine, on his literary merit, is rightfully a founding father.

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