The Virginia Partners Bank Lecture
I first became interested in the story of 托马斯·潘恩 when I learned that his bones were missing. I had always thought of him as a minor footnote to history, but then discovered that in his own time, he’d been such an towering figure that one of his disciples, 威廉·科贝特, enraged that Americans weren't giving Paine his due as a founding father, stole the bones out of his grave and shipped them to England. After Cobbett’s attempts to create a glorious Paine monument were thwarted by the crown, 然而, he began selling the bones to make money, 这意味着今天, if you become publicly known as a Paine scholar, you will get phone calls and emails offering you femurs and tibias, you will also learn that not only are Paine’s bones missing, but so are almost all of his papers, destroyed in a fire at a St. Louis Missouri storage facility.
The fundamentals of Paine are that he wrote the second most influential book in American history after Uncle Tom’s Cabin; that he is an historic American for helping start the 革命 and an historic Englishman for helping start the Labour Party, that he was at one time so famous, his colleagues included everyone from Washington to Robespierre; and that his life spanned one of the great epics in history, that incredible upheaval of the Enlightenment and the American, 法国, Industrial 革命s. 然而,, because so much is missing, the life of 托马斯·潘恩 is filled with mysteries, which all would-be biographers are forced to solve at their peril.
CRAIG NELSON is the author of the 纽约时报 畅销书, Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon，以及 Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness, 光辉时代 (a PEN Award Finalist chosen as one of the year’s best books by NBC 新闻, the American Institute of Physics, 这个评论, FlavorWire), 第一批英雄, 托马斯·潘恩: Enlightenment, 革命，以及 Birth of Modern Nations (winner of the Henry Adams Prize), 网赌最靠谱的十大软件走吧 (W.H. Smith’s Book of the Year). 他的新书， V is for Victory: Franklin Roosevelt’s American 革命 and the Triumph of World War II, a detailed accounting of how FDR upended the United States to defeat both the Great Depression and Adolf Hitler, will be published by Scribner on June 6, 2023.
His writing has appeared in 《推荐靠谱的赌博十大网站》, The Wall Street Journal, 财富战士, 沙龙, 国家地理, The New England Review, 科普, 加州的季度, 搅拌机, Semiotext (e), 《网赌最靠谱的十大软件》, a host of other publications; he has been profiled in 各种, 面试, 《推荐靠谱的赌博十大网站》, 时间.
Before turning to writing, Nelson was vice president and executive editor of Harper & 行, 亥伯龙神, 兰登书屋, where he oversaw the publishing of twenty national bestsellers and worked with such authors as John Lennon, 安迪•沃霍尔, 莉莉·汤姆林, 菲利普·格拉斯, 丽塔·梅·布朗, 史蒂夫·沃兹尼亚克, 大卫伯恩, Laurie Anderson, 亚历克斯特柏克, 威廉夏特纳, 滚石乐队, 奥森·威尔斯, 罗伯特·埃文斯, 和大卫·林奇.