Litercurious Book Review

TitleThe Daily Thomas Paine: A Year of
Common-Sense Quotes
AuthorThomas Paine (Author) (Author Editor Edward G. Gray)
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
ISBN #9780226653518


The eponymous Thomas Paine was the Enlightenment era Philosopher, Political activist, and some say Revolutionary. During his 72 years on earth, he made a lasting impression in the field of political science and philosophy. You can find out more about this extraordinary thinker here. Editor Edward G. Gray Professor of history at Florida State University.


Those unfamiliar with the importance of Paine as a philosopher will benefit most from this brief introduction of the man through his published thoughts.


The Daily Thomas Paine could be described as a conspectus or a brief compendium of the learned man’s published thoughts. The main work is proceeded by a comprehensive Forward that acts as context to the broader work. Structured as a standard calendar year beginning on January 1st, there are quotes on each page in bite sized nuggets of wisdom ending on 31 December. The manuscript culminates with a brief Index of Sources.


I don’t prefer this method of reductionism, and it provides neither a sense of the philosopher nor an adequate take on his concepts and perspectives. There are little gems of wisdom sprinkled throughout the text but they are too few and too brief. I never felt that this volume was a satisfactory salute to Thomas Paine’s great acumen or his humanity. I wish I could say that The Daily Thomas Paine would have made a primer for those who wish to gain some insight into the man, but I’m unable to do so. I found this book to be something of a disappointment and a wasted opportunity. You may hold a different view, but you will only know if you read it for yourself.


I would like to thank Thomas Paine, NetGalley, and University of Chicago Press for affording me the opportunity to review The Daily Thomas Paine.

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