As Wood describes, Thomas Paine was a man out of joint with the tidings of the time. Today, he is really only remembered for "Common Sense." Indeed, he isn't considered among the major players of the American Revolution. Perhaps this is due to the fact he wasn't here for the whole show. He had only been here 14 months when he penned his famous pamphlet. He hadn't lived through all of the previous tax acts and royal decrees; he was seen as an outsider by many of the Founding Fathers. Beyond that, as Wood explains, Paine wasn't a gentleman. This is compounded by the fact he seemed to be adverse to the social system of the day. Truly, his talent was writing. People of the time period said, "he is better in print than in flesh." Paine insisted his only connection to America was the ideology the founders had adopted. He claimed, "it was neither the place nor the people but the Cause itself that irresistibly engaged me in its support." All of these factors combine to put Paine on the outskirts of American revolutionary thought, and today he remains but a peripheral character in the American pageant.
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