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on September 7, 2017
Many of us have historical and political perspectives that an overwhelming majority of the colonists were in favor of breaking the tie with Great Britain. Common Sense shows us that this was not true. Thomas Paine's arguments to break from the King of England were based on common sense. These were presented in a pamphlet that was read by a majority of the adult colonists. His logical reasoning was considered the gold standard of reasons for breaking from Great Britain when we did. A must reading if only to understand history from an author of the day instead of from our ivory towers of today.
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on August 24, 2016
good arguments to support separating from England. Uses very high English; it was a challenge to stay with his line of thought. I kept thinking that he surely must have talked over the heads of the average reader at that time. But certainly logical and systematic progress to explain why it's a superior idea to leave British rule. I teach citizenship classes, and it gave me a little more insight to how the process all happened, and how difficult a decision it was
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on February 7, 2015
Not much needs to be said about Paine's work. It's a passionately argued case for American independence, written with amazing clarity. It's no wonder it stirred so many people to action in 1776. Particularly intriguing is Paine's case against monarchy. He builds the case by starting with the hypothetical first stirrings of government among small groups of people, elucidating the ways in which a king can come to power and the follies of the hereditary system (and I couldn't help but pause and think of the hereditary system in North Korea as I read it--this pamphlet has staying power). This particular edition contains a wonderful introduction which puts the work and Paine's life into context. The introduction gives just enough information for the reader to know where Paine's anger is coming from. This particular edition also contains the first essay from The American Crisis along with a brief introduction to that work.

You can find a copy of Common Sense for free, but for a couple of bucks, you get good formatting, good background information, and a definitive edition of the text.
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on October 31, 2014
This is a pamphlet written in 1776 by a very intelligent man, Thomas Paine, which helped rally the people to fight against the English and declare freedom. He explains how a democracy will eventually destroy itself if the government is not keep in check. This writing is very informative and should be mandatory reading in high school and political science courses in college. This was part of the curriculum when I was in high school in the 1960's. Also the USA is the only democracy that has survived over 200 years without 2 civil wars.
The Son's of Liberty aired for the first time about 2 weeks ago (1-25-2015) and I believe it is a very accurate account of the beginning of the American Revolution. I find it so hard to except how much the American people have forgotten or never knew about the founding of this country.
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on February 12, 2013
I recently attended Thomas Paines' birthday party. An event hosted by the "Florida Verterans for Common Sense". I did not want to attend without knowing anything about Thomas Paine so I immediately purchased an anthology of his works as offered through kindle and as compiled by Darryl Marks. I must confess that prior to the party/meeting I was only able to ingest one of the many pamphlets, as they are called, in the book. That is all it took to convince me that the ideas put forth by Paine are without a doubt the most meaningful that have ever been given voice concerning the equality of all men. They would be perhaps even more earth shaking were you not struck at each juncture with the fact that they only make sense. I guess that's why the first pamphlet is entitled "Common Sense".
I can not suggest too strongly that every citizen of the free and not free world takes the time to read this book or at least the first part. For those that are immediately consumed by the thirst for more knowledge about this man and his thoughts please allow me to introduce you to Harvey Kaye. Harvey is an author, lecturer and one man who has chosen to share the gift of Thomas Paine through a scholarly but contemporary book on the subject. Fasten your seat belts!
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on October 12, 2014
One can only regard this as one of the most important books written by man in our common history on this planet. This book, written by a man who was tired and fed-up with the social and political climate in his native England, came to be when Thomas Paine travelled to the british colonies in North-America to put fuel on the fire that came to be the American Revolution, and in turn the creation of what we today know as the United States of America. Perhaps it is the single most important revolution ever made by man, as it sent ripples through centuries and changed countries and socities alike, forever.

Thomas Paine was a man who was critical in his view of Christianity, fronting rational thought and who was ostracized by his fellow Americans due to his view on Christianity in his latter days. He merely reasoned around what he saw, experienced and lived through, and he did what most people do when they learn the trade of thought or reason; they question everything they see and hear, they wont budge nor be fooled, they start criticizing what is established and call upon people's reason to create change when it is needed the most. Paine was characterized by the following: "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination". It was his skill in journalism and his philosophical reason that made him able to separate what he saw as good from the bad. He called upon people not only in the North-American colonies, but people all over the world to stand up for their rights and to not accept being treated as unworthy or as a lesser human being in the society/nation they grew up in. Europe was in constant conflict and development during this time and he used his experiences to create a document that probably exceeded his own expectations and importance.

It leaves you with a bittersweet taste as this man, who authored the single most important document in the story that became the American Revolution, became ostracized because of popular opinion. Yes, the foundation of the United States of America was built upon religious freedom, personal freedom, pursuit of happiness and liberty. In no way was Thomas Paine single-handedly responsible for the frame of thought in Common Sense, it is simply a product based upon what philosophy teaches man and what it in turn does to those who excell and develop themselves through it. He merely wrote what he thought was "common sense", it is in the book's title, and it is a mixture of political philosophy, social philosophy and basic rational thought, given the social and political climate both in Europe and abroad in the hundreds of colonies scattered across the globe.

I am writing this in 2014 - a year that has seen the world change dramatically both in social and global conflicts. The United States of America is upholding it's constitutional and god-sworn responsibility to do right and create democracies across the world, and to fight for people's right to liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Thomas Paine even was a player in the time leading up to the French Revolution. So this man was no stranger to revolution and the might of the people, when living in a border-line dictatorship where there was one king, one power and one rule. This had to change, and it certainly did. Thomas Paine was even regarded as an ally of the "Girondists" that were major players during the French Revolution, who sought to abolish the "Absolute Monarchy" that had ruled the European scene for centuries. His tight relation to the French during the French Revolution might have played a role in that Benjamin Franklin later was an ambassador to France and France played a major role in the Thirteen Colonies fight for independence from the English king.

Though this book may not be "up to date" on todays global political climate or political philosophy, it is certainly a must-read for everyone who seeks to learn how the American Revolution came to be and for those who want an inisight into the thougth foundation that layed the bricks for the birth of the United States of America. This book is up there with Plato's Republica in regards to how man perceives his surroundings, and his perspective on life and everything that happens during a lifespan. I recommend this book to everyone interested in political philosophy and for anyone who simply wants to broaden their perspective and wants to know more about how the American Revolution came to be.

5/5 stars from a thoughtful Norwegian!
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on September 25, 2017
A classic. This should be required reading for all people who can read. But alas, the unwashed masses care more about the Kardashians...and we wonder why the world is in the sorry state it is in.
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on August 28, 2017
Very informative. It is told in a very understanding way and helped the reader understand the events that lead to the independence of the United States of America. It is a must read.
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on August 11, 2016
This volume of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" is an important primary document and had proven itself invaluable to understanding the feelings of the colonist at that time. Paine's writes with a veracity and vivacity that is awe inspiring. Poignant, simple, yet deceptively elegant, Thomas Paine lays out the argument --both fiscal and militaristic -- for declaring independence. Now, more than ever, is this book needed: to be read, to be studied, to be understood. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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on October 1, 2017
I enjoyed the things he had written regarding why he thought America should become a country of it's own. A very intelligent man and a interesting short book to let you know what the original states had to consider and why we are so glad they did..
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