We are excited and proud to introduce our new and fully redesigned website for the The Life of Thomas Paine. The transition to this new site is complete, but we are still working out some minor kinks and bugs. If you notice anything amiss please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas Paine was the one truly radical Founding Father of America, a man who changed the face of the world through his writings. “Common Sense” inspired the American Revolution, “Rights of Man” defined the French Revolution, and then “The Age of Reason” called on us to use our ability to reason as the basis for our beliefs and morality.
He is a man largely forgotten and greatly misunderstood, ironically quoted by all and every political faction in America today. Yet his ideas about democracy, equality, slavery, pensions, healthcare, and education and morality would have created a very different kind of nation if they had been acted on.
His life was a great arc. He was a man who changed the world, only to have the world he changed turn its back on him. The man who ignited revolutions would die largely ignored and distained, yet when he was writing his books and pamphlets he was at the epicenter of world events and literally transforming nations through the power of his words. He was a true man of the Enlightenment and thrilled by the idea that the potential of mankind was about to burst forth. As he said “we have it in our power to begin the world over again.”
For those who know his work, Thomas Paine’s vision of a just society serves as both an inspiration and a call to action. His ideas are universal and speak to humanities' desires for equality, true freedom of religion, an end to the war machine, and all prejudice, and yet despite his elloquence and universal appeal he has been all but erased from history or misinterpreted by those who would abuse his ideals. Our project is determined to write Paine back into the pages of our history and make sure that the true meaning of his work reaches as many people as possible. For it's only from an informed position that we can debate the merits of his work and while some may disagree with our interpretation and maybe even Paine's ideas, they will do so from a place of knowledge.
Our Project uses a variety of digital and traditional media to bring Paine’s world to the internet, the stage and the screen. On stage Ian Ruskin peforms his one man play "To Begin The World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine," a play he has performed over 60 times thus far to a wide range of audiences, with many more bookings ahead. Most recently the project finished shooting a film adapataion of the play featuring Ian Ruskin as Paine and Elliot Gould as the Narrator and shot by Oscar Award winning Haskell Wexler. The film is scheduled to appear on public television stations with the potential to reach millions of households througout the U.S. during this important Presidential election year. The film and this companion website have the potential to spread Paine's life and work to an even broader, world wide audience. And you can all be involved in helping us promote the story through screening parties across the globe.
Please explore our site, sign up for the monthly Newsletter at the bottom of any page and come to performances when you can. 2016 is the year to re- introduce Thomas Paine to the world, and together we can do it! --Ian Ruskin
Our Indiegogo Campaign was an extraordinary success! Thanks to you all, the film is complete, we have distribution to public television stations in America and we are talking to people about international distribution.
Through The Film page we are launching a grassroots campaign across America to spread the word about the television airings through Screening Parties and much more.
Our page on YouTube now includes the film trailer and our seven short films that inspired this project, using excerpts from the play to challenge Bob Basso’s version of Thomas Paine. Thank you, Bob!
Also visit The Thomas Paine Society's "Tom Talks" on YouTube, the first of a series. Ian takes on one of the most topical questions of day, the size of government.
The Social Security Administration has the complete text of Thomas Paine's Agrarian Justice on their web site. Extraordinary! (Thanks to The Thomas Paine Society for pointing this out).
Please consider making a donation to the project. All donations will be acknowledged on this site. Checks should be sent to the address below and made out to The Thomas Paine Society, our fiscal sponsor. This ensures that your donation is 100% tax-deductable.
Thomas Paine Website Introductory Video
See also: The Harry Bridges Project