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Common Sense

by Thomas Paine

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,051502,126 (3.96)1 / 121
This pamphlet, which Paine published in 1776, put into print the word every man was thinking but no man dared say: Independence!
  1. 20
    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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» See also 121 mentions

English (48)  Danish (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
After reading David McCullough's 1776 I went for this. It's surprisingly readable, short and consumable. Some of the writing and insights are quite striking! And he had only recently come to America when this was written, so his passion is a bit surprising. ( )
  viking2917 | Oct 25, 2020 |
Thomas Paine defines the arguments for independence from Britain instead of any attempt at reconciliation. He also proposes ways to organize and finance the new American government and argues that America would be capable of defeating the British army and navy. This particle edition (the Kindle edition) is atrocious and should be avoided by everyone. It reads like a sloppy translation from a foreign language. ( )
  M_Clark | Aug 30, 2020 |
Thomas Paine's seminal 1776 publication arguing in favor of independence for the American colonies, and against further attempts at reconciliation with England.

As important historical documents go, this one has the benefit of being short, accessible, and still surprisingly readable nearly 250 years later. Some of Paine's arguments are better than others, and his opinions about the function of government look very simplistic from my 21st century perspective, although there is no doubt there are still plenty of people who think much the same way even now. But he does a great rant about why the whole concept of hereditary monarchies is irrational and morally bankrupt, and you can certainly see why he got people fired up and ready to get their rebellion on.

It also provides a fascinating sense of perspective to watch an important figure from the past thinking about the legacy the actions of his own time are going to leave for posterity, when you yourself are that posterity.

Rating: I'm giving this one a 4/5, as an interesting and painless-to-read window into history. (No pun intended.) ( )
  bragan | Dec 11, 2019 |
Like all dated material, a little bit of a challenge to get through, but well worth the effort. In this brief little book, Paine lays out the underlying rationale of the country's founding and impetus for the revolution. Long story short: the King is not law: the Law is king. Nuff said. ( )
  Renzomalo | Apr 14, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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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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This pamphlet, which Paine published in 1776, put into print the word every man was thinking but no man dared say: Independence!

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Book description
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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