• The Age of Reason

  • By: Thomas Paine
  • Narrated by: Robin Field
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (431 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology, published in three parts from 1794, was a best seller in America, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. Promoting a creator-God while advocating reason in the place of revelation, Paine’s controversial pamphlet caused his native British audience, fearing the results of the French Revolution, to receive it with more hostility than their American counterparts. This passionate and engaging recording of Paine’s classic is as certain to provoke modern listeners to thought as it did his original audience.

©2010 Mission Audio (P)2010 Mission Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Age of Reason

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Amazed by the energy, originality & bravery

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.

21 people found this helpful

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I HATED listening to this book!

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.

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Age of Reason

Worth reading for its historical signifigance but must be read in the light of its age. For example, Paine makes an inspired argument for Deism as the only "true" religion. It would be interesting to see how the author's views might change after the revelations of Darwin in another 70 years. One can presume that Paine's belief in a creative god would be reasoned away just as he has done with the the bible, the testiment and all revealed religion.

Of interest are the notes at the end of Part 1 which describe the author's precarious situation. He completed his manuscript just hours before the knock on his door that lead to his arrest and expulsion from the French National Convention. This was a time when ideas had real consequences.



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This should be required reading in US high schools

I am so sorry for myself that it took me 60 years from my birth to read this most cogent of all that I have read. I postulate that had he lived in this time and had the further understanding of science that we have now, Thomas Paine, would most likely, have not taken to the beliefs of deism for which he argued so elegantly. Instead, given the scientific, rational and reasoned thinking behind his beliefs, he would have adopted a completely atheistic view of the world because of the overburden of assumption in opposition to science that those beliefs require to maintain.
It amazes me that this wonderful, clear, concise and yet comprehensive critique of religion, and Christianity in particular, was written nearly 225 years ago and this same mythology of religion is still practiced by supposedly evolved, educated and intellectual humans.
Bravo Mr. Paine.

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Good Book but Angry Narrator

The book is dated but still very relevant today, although the narrators angry sarcastic tone was way over the top and not needed to convey the authors feelings.

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Every Christian should read/listen to this book.

The Age of Reason proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Christian bible is less trustworthy than the ravings of a madman using only it's own contents.

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little too much emotion

the story was amazing. the book was amazing! very articulate and detailed in the arguments against religion. I love Paine, but I think the reader of the story was trying to guess just how frustrated Paine was with religion by adding emotional exclamation in some sentence or emotionally emphasizing a word and the end of a sentence to show how impatient he was at explaining this to religious people.

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Very disappointed--couldn't finish

I was very disappointed. I expected more from the man who wrote: "These are the times that try men's souls." For the second time in 200+ titles, I couldn't finish a book. In part 2, Paine got bogged down with his premise that if Moses didn't write the first 5 books of the Bible, they have no credibility. That's where I gave up. Part 1 had some valid criticisms of Christianity. Paine didn't mention that Martin Luther had identified these and other criticism a couple centuries earlier. I found it amusing that Paine criticized the study of foreign languages and then had problems in France because, in part, he couldn't speak the language. I wish "The Age of Reason" had more "Common Sense".

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Terrible narration

The narrator sounds like he's upset throughout the reading of the book. It distracts greatly from the contents of the text, which is excellent.

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Perfect Narration for the subject matter.

What made the experience of listening to The Age of Reason the most enjoyable?

The narration was done so perfectly, you could almost believe the author was reading it to you himself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James Riley
  • 11-08-15

A great review of the Bible's fabrications

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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-28-18

a must read for anyone afflicted with religion

struggling with religion? find the bible to be total twaddle? So does Thomas Paine and he explains exactly why in this seminal work.

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  • Nigel S.
  • 12-20-14

A must for seekers of truth!

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.

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