Thomas Paine was born in 1737, and emigrated to America in 1774 at the persuasion of Benjamin Franklin. In 1776 he published the influential Common Sense, which established his reputation as a revolutionary thinker and as political theorist for the American Revolution. In 1787 Paine returned to Europe and became involved in Revolutionary politics. He was imprisoned in France and nearly executed. In 1802 he returned to America where he lived in poverty until his death in 1809. Michael Foot was born in 1913 and read PPE at Oxford. He was Editor of hte Evening Standard and of Tribune. He was elected to Parliament as a Labour MP in 1945 and became Labour Party leader in 1980, until his resignation in 1983. He retired from parliament in 1992. Isaac Kramnick was born in 1938 and educated at Harvard. He is currently Professor of Government at Cornell University. He has edited Godwin, Madison and Thomas Paine for Penguin Classics.