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Common Sense (Dover Thrift Editions) unknown Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,052 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 858-0001052175
ISBN-10: 0486296024
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"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.
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Product Details

  • 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,052 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Common Sense is one of the greatest articles of argumentation ever written. Paine was the finest pamphleteer of his age and was able to turn the discontents of the colonists and, especially, the intellectual leaders of the revolutionary movement into arguments that were easily understood by ordinary colonials and which inspired them to rally to the cause of independence.

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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In an unrelenting quest to understanding the history of the United States, one obscure name comes to mind, Thomas Paine. Paine helped establish the meaning of democracy and the "united" in United States. His two monumental works, COMMON SENSE AND RIGHTS OF MAN, provided the philosophical and rhetorical building blocks that the founding fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, et al., would emulate with the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Many take for granted the origins of freedom and democracy in the United States, and as with many school history textbooks depict, Paine merely appears in a paragraph or two, and quickly disappears to historical oblivion.

Nevertheless, when one reads COMMON SENSE AND RIGHTS OF MAN: AND OTHER ESSENTIAL WRITINGS OF THOMAS PAINE, there will be no doubt how significant his philosophical and political writings transformed the political structure of the colonies. Although this may sound somewhat romanticized, Paine's words ignited the energy for the colonists to free themselves from the tyrannical-monarchical leadership of England's King George III. With all the talk of Paine being a founding father, he may also be considered the father of revolution, American Revolution and French Revolution, and human rights. Without the inspiration from his friend Edmund Burke, author of REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE, Paine may not have been able to write the pamphlet Rights of Man. Indeed, his power of the written word translated to revolutionary action, and Jeffersonian ideology.

In clear and no nonsense language, Paine's perspective of the state of the colonies are elaborately told in COMMON SENSE.
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Format: Hardcover
This book collects together Paine's Common Sense (which was instrumental in collecting and gathering America's attention to the benefits of strict independence from Great Britain); his letters or series entitled "the American Crisis," which galvanizes his previous topics; gives a brief account of his engineering work for arches bridges; provides another span of letters on his involvement in the French Revolution, and finishes with his Age of Reason, in which he examines and debunks the Bible. Though his reasoning and conclusions may alarm some and even offend others, his thinking and writing is lucid and cogent, and for reflective minds will provide much food for thought. Accused of sophistry and impudence by some of his contemporaries, his reasoning is normally sound and simple, as he inquires into the root of things, and only seldom does he make debating points fit only for the playground. A sensible and likable man, Paine's writing should engage any American for its historical sense, any lover or researcher interested in human rights and the hope of removing human misery, and any person interested in reading the entertaining but vital arguments of a man whose love of liberty and order forced him late in life to become one of America's most influential revolutionary and socially-minded voices.
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By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read the other reviews and while I agree with them, I must add that this book is more than history. I remember reading Paine's critique of the English government being "so exceedingly complex" that when a problem developed, politicians would fight for years deciding whose fault it was. Finally, when they would try to solve the problem, everyone had a different solution. I thought I was reading an editorial from USNews. I was amazed that many problems that incited the colonies to revolt are now present in our new government. Read this as more than great history. Read it as political science, and public commentary.
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