The Age of Reason (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
Thomas Paine’s primary object in writing The Age of Reason was to call into question the conventional understanding of religion and to undermine the power of the Christian church. As provocative and controversial today as when Paine first wrote it, this incendiary work suggests what is necessary to transform religion into a social force that has its foundation in reason.
A participant in both the American and French Revolutions and in the governments that first arose from them, Thomas Paine is best remembered as the highly popular pamphleteer whose Common Sense was largely responsible for motivating the American colonists to declare independence. He was born in England on January 29, 1737, and his impoverished early life offered scant evidence of the qualities that would later elevate him to literary and historical prominence. Taking the first available opportunity to improve his lot, he moved to America in 1775, coincidentally arriving at the time when revolutionary fervor was just taking hold.