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Thomas Paine : Collected Writings : Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters (Library of America) Hardcover – March 1, 1995
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Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Paine's thoughts are important reading for every person who would call himself educated and versed in the history of ideas about how society should organize -- particularly "Common Sense" and "The Age of Reason". I myself would have included him in Stephen Covey's "Wisdom Literature" ("First Things First"). Carl Sagan cites him ("The Demon Haunted World") in support of his own reflections on "the God hypothesis".
COMMON SENSE speaks to form and purpose of government and was the pivotal Revolutionary pamphlet in which Paine disected and debunked the legitimacy of monarchy, giving voice to the growing feelings in the Colonies that being ruled by the King of England had become obsolete. Paine's articulation served to "tune" the chorused voices of the Colonies, which before his writing, were loud but out of tune. (War was underway, but the Colonies not well organized in a joint defense.) COMMON SENSE even has a refreshed relevance in the aftermath of the 9/11/01 tragedies in New York, as we re-examine some of our institutions.
THE AGE OF REASON will be disagreeable reading to devout followers of any organized religion -- particularly Christians -- as it is Paine's book-by-book disection and denunciation of the Bible (and, by extension, the "scriptures" of all other religions) as a collection of fables, nurtured through the ages for corrupt purposes of church leaders (starting hundreds of years BC). But, almost by definition, an educated person MUST acknowledge disagreeable ideas and THEN make disposition of them Once in a while "disagreement" is even persuaded to new thinking, n'est ce pas?.Read more ›
His immortal opening of the "American Crisis" was like new fuel to a dying flame. "These are the times that try men's souls," he wrote, and his arguments for continuing the revolution reminded the patriots of the meaning of their fight. And Paine could not have been timelier-his words came at a time when the success of the revolution seemed much in doubt.
Perhaps more than any man, he breathed new life into the patriots though his keen analysis and moral passion. 225 years later, he still gives life to the idea of America, even as our freedoms come under increased threat.
Thomas Paine is required reading for any student of America who wishes to understand the ideas from which America was made real.
The important thing about Paine is that he practiced what he preached, as opposed to just about every other founding father (e.g., Jefferson saying all are "created equal" but owning slaves, or Adams "dismissing" his wife's assertion that they too should be included in the political process). I don't think we ought to condemn those individuals for the beliefs that they had, indeed they were products of their time period - and they are worthy of study. However, I also believe that we should praise those who were able to step out of that period and see things as they are, this is what Paine was able to do.
If you doubt Paine's importance in the history of American independence, consider the following; probably no other phamphlet brought the idea of independence to the mind of the colonists like Paine's "Common Sense" did and it was Paine's "Crisis #1" that was read to Washington's soldiers before they prepared for the biggest fight of the American Revolution. Paine's defense of the French Revolution in his "Rights of Man" sparked off a publication war that has yet to be matched and his "The Age of Reason" delineated the philosophical ideas that most of the founding fathers had with regard to religion (regardless of what the religious right would have you to believe).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everyone should read this book. It leads you through the many twists and turns in the development of our democracy.Published 1 month ago by Vann Griffith
Thomas Paine deserves much more respect than he usually receives. Not only did he promote both the American Revolution and the French Revolution, but in "The Age of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Loo Ti
These classic papers by Thomas Paine need no recommendation - everyone should read them, but I would like to recommend the seller. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Edward A. Grens II
Thomas Paine is probably the most underrated and most quoted member of our founding fathers. I wish everybody would include this book in their personal library.Published 6 months ago by Judy Ladd