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Wow. It is amazing to me to think this book was written in 1794/95. One of the most influential thinkers/writers/pamphleteers of the American AND French revolutions. You can't read Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins or Bart D. Ehrman and not feel that these authors ALL owe huge debts of gratitude to Thomas Paine and his last book. 'The Age of Reason', which essentially advocated deism, promoted humanism, reason and freethinking, and violently quarelled with ALL institutionalized religion (especially Christianity, viz the Bible), turned one of the heroes of the American Revolution into a social pariah. Only 6 people showed up for his funeral in 1809 (15 years after 'The Age of Reason' was first published) because many were still horrified by 'The Age of Reason'. Thomas Paine was an amazing thinker and like Hitch, I might not always agree with the end result of his thinking, but I am always amazed at the energy, force, originality and bravery of his thought.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
I found the information in this book fascinating and WANTED to read it, but the narrator sounded like an angry man and every time I turned it on I had to prepare myself to be yelled at. It was very distracting, and I wouldn't recommend this edition of the book on that premise.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I have done already, many times.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Age of Reason?
Not only is it interesting for his treatment of the internal contradictions of the Bible, it also follows the life of Paine, including his imprisonment in post-revolution France.
Paine is very much present in the writing. It is a conversational text which keeps you gripped throughout.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
He uses the word 'fabulous' a lot, to highlight the fabled and mythical elements of the Bible. To the modern reader, with a different conception of the word, it can sound quite comical. Provided many laughs throughout.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
The book leaves you in awe at the greatness of this man's mind.
Any additional comments?
On the point of the advocation of deism, I think if Paine had written this post-Darwin, he probably would have left his deism behind.
All in all a fascinating book advocating the importance of reason, and well worth a read/listen.
A clear forensic demolition using nothing but the accused's own writings backed up by a superb narration. The ripple effects will have catastrophic consequences to all faiths.