- Series: Dover Thrift Editions
- Paperback: 64 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; unknown edition (April 22, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486296024
- ISBN-13: 978-0486296029
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,097 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Common Sense (Dover Thrift Editions) unknown Edition
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"These are the times that try men's souls," begins Thomas Paine's first Crisis paper, the impassioned pamphlet that helped ignite the American Revolution. Published in Philadelphia in January of 1776, Common Sense sold 150,000 copies almost immediately. A powerful piece of propaganda, it attacked the idea of a hereditary monarchy, dismissed the chance for reconciliation with England, and outlined the economic benefits of independence while espousing equality of rights among citizens. Paine fanned a flame that was already burning, but many historians argue that his work unified dissenting voices and persuaded patriots that the American Revolution was not only necessary, but an epochal step in world history. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Paine is one of those who proved the pen is mightier than the sword. Included here are several of the writings that forged the spirit of our nation, including Common Sense, The Crisis, The Rights of Man, The Age of Reason, and Other Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters. Note that two new Paine biographies have been recently published (LJ 11/15/94 and LJ 1/95).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
I first read Common Sense more than fifty years ago and remember well being impressed with Paine's ability to carry arguments and to anticipate those of his opponents before his tract even hit the street. Over the course of my lifetime, I was inspired by the author and became a pamphleteer of sorts myself. I always told my colleagues that I wanted to become a poor man's Tom Paine. But after reading the piece once again, I realize that almost all who aspire to follow in his footsteps, if not fill his shoes, are doomed to become but very poor copies of the original.
Other reviewers have noted the fluidity of his writing; it reads as simply, directly and forcefully today as it must have nearly a quarter of a millennium ago. Obviously, one did not have to be a great reader to be swayed by the force of Paine's words or to be inspired to the side of those wishing to throw off the English yoke.
I was struck by echoes of Paine in many great American speeches that were running through my mind as I read. A number of quotes from Robert F. Kennedy seemed to have been directly inspired by Common Sense, and I hastily looked them up and offer these two for your consideration:
"It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task."
"All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity."
The Declaration of Independence itself is a direct offspring of this great tract. Jefferson and the others charged with developing the document were well aware of Paine and had the opportunity to evaluate his words and to use his methods in creating our declaration, and this takes nothing away from their genius.
This is a document that can be read in short order, and it is free at the Kindle Store. How can you say no to giving it a try?
He has to make some ridiculous arguments that address belief in God. For example, he asks why any religious person could argue that a creator put America and England so far apart and made them different sizes so the smaller could rule over the larger. Such contemplation is unintelligent to my mind, and I think Paine knew this but he had to talk in such silly terms back then. He seems to be teasing Christians at the end. Finally, he is emphatic about the absolute necessity of having a total separation of church and state for the benefit of everyone.