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Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Common Sense

by Thomas Paine

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3,743452,122 (3.98)1 / 112
This pamphlet, which Paine published in 1776, put into print the word every man was thinking but no man dared say: Independence!
  1. 00
    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (Teresa_Pelka)
    Teresa_Pelka: Paths by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine parted, in their living experience. The names continue together in history, for the role both men had in American independence.

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English (43)  Danish (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion.

Unfortunate that the knee-jerk Right has appropriated this polished wit. I can't see how is reconciles with the specks of froth about emails and birth certificates. Baggage eschewed, this remains a powerful pamphlet, a catalyst for defiance. Not as convincing as J.S. Mill, but one rife with images and optimism. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
So fun to teach this text for a class on revolutions and think about what a sensation it was when first published in 1776. ( )
  jalbacutler | Nov 4, 2018 |
I have a large collection of historical books that are considered either 'classics' or are just informational texts to inform us more of history (or to provide context, etc. etc). This is just one of those (and a duplicate copy that I own - oops) and it seems weird to review Thomas Paine. He's Thomas Paine.
  justagirlwithabook | Jul 31, 2018 |
I'm sure I read excerpts from this in school many years ago. I'd forgotten most of the specifics but the general idea (yay independence, boo monarchy) is pretty plain. I was a little surprised by how similar the eventual US government became to the British system, given how much time Paine spends complaining about it. (Granted, he spends even more time complaining about the idea of hereditary power.) I was also struck by how "religious freedom" only included Christians. Freedom of religion is one of the basic rights in the Constitution, and yet here we have one of the biggest advocates completely ignoring most of the religions of the world (including the Deism of many of his contemporaries, though it's not explicitly stated). In short, it was a very important and influential book, well worth reading by any American who wishes to learn more about the early days of their own country. It also really stretches today's definition of "pamphlet". ( )
  melydia | Oct 20, 2017 |
An interesting glimpse of this fascinating period - the birth of a nation. I've not read much about the American Revolution, but what soon becomes clear from this text is that it really was a war of words. Paine takes care to discredit other publications on the topic of the revolt - particularly the 'mere four pages' published by an unnamed Quaker.

Hindsight makes it all the more interesting - the idea that not having a monarch would make it much less likely that a civil war would happen in America. Hm... ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Paineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Appleby, JoyceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beeman, Richard R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cronauer, AdrianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deitschman, CraigNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabaldon, DianaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herder, RonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramnick, IsaacEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortolà, JaumeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tietjen, GregoryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wendel, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Man knows no Mafbr fave creating HEAVEN,
Or thofe whom choice and common good ordain.

First words
Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages are not sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.
Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things.
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When my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir."
~ Thomas Paine

Published anonymously in 1776, the year of the American Declaration of Independence, Paine's Common Sense became an immediate bestseller, with fifty-six edtiions printed in that year alone. It was this pamplet, more than any other factor, which helped to spark off the movement that established hte independence of hte United States.

From his experience of revolutionary politics, Paine drew those principles of fundamental human rights which, he felt, must stand no matter what excesses are committed to obtain them, and which he later formulated in his Rights of Man.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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