There is extraordinary vitality in the writings of Tom Paine and Howard Fast, through his Citizen Tom Paine created the market for this excellent selection from his works, with biographical and historical background and comments by Fast. Paine emerges as pamphleteer without rival, as courageous advocate of flagging causes. No other pen did so great a service to the cause of Revolution, -- the American Revolution with Common Sense and the Crisis Papers; the murmurings of revolution which came eventually in England, with Rights of Man; and the cause of religious freedom with the often misquoted and misinterpreted The Age of Reason. How these writings came into being; how they affected not only the lives of masses of people but Tom Paine's own troubled life; how they set a high standard for all who sometimes failed to realize that ""a declaration of rights is also a declaration of duties"". The final section contains the much discussed but rarely read letter to Washington, along with sundry other shorter papers connected with it, in Paine's period of disillusion.