The Crisis

Front Cover
Prometheus Books, Sep 16, 2008 - History - 251 pages
10 Reviews
In the winter of 1776, the American War of Independence, which had been declared only a few months before, was in trouble. British troops had quickly advanced through New York and New Jersey to crush the rebellion, and the Continental army was in retreat and on the verge of disintegration. At the end of that year, on December 23, Thomas Paine, who had previously inspired the revolutionary cause with his stilling pamphlet Common Sense, published the first of a new series of essays aptly titled The Crisis.
Paine had a gift for memorable phrasing and the first words of The Crisis soon became famous.
General Washington found the writing so uplifting that, during the bleak winter of 1777 at Valley Forge, he ordered Paine's essay to be read by all the troops.
Paine continued his writing through the duration of the war with eloquent appeals for justice addressed to British leaders and citizens, and uplifting words to bolster the patriots in their light for independence.
A document that provides many insights into the hardships and precarious uncertainties that threatened the birth of the nation as well as the many reasons for carrying on the fight, The Crisis belongs on every American's bookshelf.

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Review: The Crisis

User Review  - Ben - Goodreads

"These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and ... Read full review

Review: The Crisis

User Review  - Leunice Eloisa - Goodreads

Genuinely inspiring. Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
7
Section 3
17
Copyright

23 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Born to parents with Quaker leanings, Thomas Paine grew up amid modest circumstances in the rural environs of Thetford, England. As the recipient of what he termed "a good moral education and a tolerable stock of useful learning," little in Paine's early years seemed to suggest that he would one day rise to a stunning defense of American independence in such passionate and compelling works as Common Sense (1776) and The American Crisis essays (1776-83). Paine's early years were characterized by a constant struggle to remain financially solvent while pursuing a number of nonintellectual activities. Nevertheless, the young Paine read such Enlightenment theorists as Isaac Newton and John Locke and remained dedicated to the idea that education was a lifelong commitment. From 1753 to 1759, Paine worked alternately as a sailor, a staymaker, and a customs officer. Between 1759 and 1772, he married twice. His first wife died within a year of their marriage, and Paine separated amicably from his second wife after a shop they operated together went bankrupt. While these circumstances seemed gloomy, Paine fortuitously made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin in London in 1773. Impressed by Paine's self-education, Franklin encouraged the young man to venture to America where he might prosper. Arriving in Philadelphia in 1774, Paine quickly found himself energized by the volatile nature of Revolutionary politics. Working as an editor of Pennsylvania Magazine, Paine found a forum for his passionate radical views. In the years that followed, Paine became increasingly committed to American independence, and to his conviction that the elitist and corrupt government that had ruled over him in England had little business extending its corrosive colonial power to the States. Moved by these beliefs, Paine published Common Sense (1776), a test that proved invaluable in unifying American sentiment against British rule. Later, after joining the fray as a soldier, Paine penned the familiar lines in "The American Crisis": "These are the times that try men's souls." Fifteen years later, Paine wrote his other famous work, Rights of Man (1791). Drawing on his eclectic experiences as a laborer, an international radical politician, and a revolutionary soldier, Paine asserted his Lockeian belief that since God created humans in "one degree only," then rights should be equal for every individual.