46 Pages book review

May 18, 2018 History

Imagine having a front row seat, or better yet, a hand in what is considered to be the one of the greatest moments in history. Scott Liell is able to provide his audience that experience through his written account of the spectacular events that led to the signing of The Declaration of Independence.

The author’s task is to try to put into words the frustrations of Englishman Thomas Paine, who is well versed in what is going on in the “world of politics”. He is fed up with the “iron fist” ruling methods of the British government, and wants change. At the recommendation of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Paine embarks upon a journey to the American colonies arriving in Pennsylvania in late 1775 to explore the available opportunities (43). Ultimately landing a job as a ghost writer for a new monthly publication, it is here that Paine realizes that people are interested in what he has to say. He has found an outlet for his voice as a political advocate and is becoming popular amongst his peers (51).

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The essential challenge is America gaining its Independence from the British’s tyrannical ruler-ship. This is developed because “commoners” realized that they really had no voice in a monarchial government that was essentially ruled by the king and parliament (75-76).

This is further developed in the text as the Americans realize that they are entitled to their liberty and independence. The author shows how Paine, as a writer, is able to make valid argument for the people and publish a piece of work that gets the attention they need to have their voices heard. His thesis of America being entitled to its independence is tested by the popularity of Thomas Paine’s political writings, and proven by his publishing of 46 Pages.

This book is extremely significant in confronting the issue of America’s
independence in 1776. It shows that the tenacity of one person working towards change can be highly effective if they can validate their arguments. Liell’s presentation of Thomas Paine’s story is presented in a scholarly fashion. It is well written, and very informative. Liell’s style of writing is very detailed; it gives a sense as if he were witnessing the events he wrote about. Thomas Paine’s presentation of 46 Pages is also written in a scholarly fashion because it is informational to its audience of that time period. In my opinion, the text does not show signs of bias; however, there is a sense of urgency and concern for the people. Scott Liell uses 46 Pages as his source, as well his general knowledge of history.

Being an immigrant who fled because of British rule, Thomas Paine uses his firsthand experiences as his source to plead his cases of unfairness and oppression. The book is coherent, logical and it gives an in-depth look at the early years of Thomas Paine, and follows him chronologically throughout his history-making journey. The book seems to be intended for the general public because students will gain knowledge from its contents and the mature audience will gain an appreciation for the efforts that were put into the process of life and liberty in America. I would recommend this book to others because of its informational value. I found facts about Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and ultimately Thomas Paine that I

was not aware of before reading the book. Other scholars that have reviewed this book consider it a” must read” and call it a “pivotal piece of literature” because of its informational value and its significant role in the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


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