Tags » Tom Paine

Founding fathers through a new lens

One by one I found the heroes of the US founding father myth crumbling under the weight of their own identities. I was reading Howard Zinn’s view on the development of American colonial rebellion against the British. 157 more words


Three cheers for religious toleration

This was written for Scientia Salon, and partially repeats some of my previous posts.

In the all-time lists of Good Ideas the principle of religious freedom ranks high, preventing much strife and war and thus being responsible for saving more lives than penicillin and vaccination combined. 2,869 more words


Why Should I Be Paine Attention?

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.” John Adams


Ten Books That Changed My Life

The Facebook meme du jour is all about listing the ten books that changed your life. The fad has inevitably produced a backlash from people convinced that their dull and illiterate ‘friends’ couldn’t possibly have read half the weighty, intellectual tomes they’d claimed. 1,930 more words

Radical Lives - John Ball

Melvyn Bragg’s programme on the life of John Ball was a surprise.  One had thought that the BBC no longer had the courage to commission something like this; history without the gimmicks.   176 more words