Wednesday 21 January 2009

News: Obama & Thomas Paine

Much attention is being paid to Obama's use of sources in his inaugural speech - here's CNN, for example. It's certainly been noted that when Obama seemed to quote Washington, he was in fact quoting Thomas Paine. Above, you can see the quotation in question as it appeared in the first pamphlet of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis, published in December 1776 - more famous, perhaps, for its opening line: "These are the times that try men's souls." You can view an original copy of the Crisis at the Library of Congress. But why might this be of particular interest to us at the UEA? Because Thomas Paine was born just down the road in Norfolk - in Thetford, in 1737. Below you can see a picture of Thetford's statue of Thomas Paine; and you can read more about the remarkable life and career of one of Norfolk's most famous sons thanks to BBC Norfolk.

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