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Common Sense by Thomas Paine
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Common Sense (1776)

by Thomas Paine

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A very appropriate book to be reviewing on the Fourth of July! This is the argument that started the American Revolution - the argument that a break from British ties is the only way to make America great. His arguments are both very persuasive (as a 21st century reader, I found myself agreeing with him on all points) and is very enlightening on the politics of the time.

I found it difficult to read at some points - the shift in language required me to read the same passages multiple times to understand it. And sometimes, a sentence only made sense in the context of the larger page. But- the arguments are very clear.

I think all politicians should read this book - as a country, I think America have gone away from the intent of elected officials. Thomas Paine makes it very clear the best government is when each person gets to vote on an issue but when populations are too large second best is vote for a representative.

This is a book of it's time... There are non-politically correct references to "Savages" of Africa and Native Indians. It is very clear that Thomas Paine was writing to an audience who thought Christianity was the most "Civilized" religion. I say this because the introduction indicates that Thomas Paine was Deist and was against slavery. So, was he writing to his audience? or did he actually believe what he wrote. It is an interesting question. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Jul 4, 2013 |
It is one of the most effective pieces of propaganda in the history of the world, and it's quite likely that without it the United States would not have garnered enough popular support to effect independence from England. Because it was so successful despite containing bucketloads of false logic, ridiculous science, and infantile grasps of history, philosophy, and religion, does that make it even more wondrous in its worth? Does that deserve 1 star or 5 stars? I don't know so I can't even give this a rating; it is a true marvel of history. I've only read the quotes and highlights of this throughout my life so reading it in its entirety has only deepened my insight into the provocative ass that was the man that despised George Washington and Edmund Burke. It's not just me that is repulsed by him, only six people attended the funeral of this hero. His obituary said it well: ""He had lived long, did some good and much harm."
  cjyurkanin | May 22, 2013 |
I am reading the etext from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/147/147-h/147-h.htm

Every American should read this pamphlet. Even though today's concerns are not whether monarchical government is worthy of the people, it's passion and arguments are inspiring. ( )
  mossjon | Mar 31, 2013 |
Thomas Paine did a great job explaining to the common man why it was necessary to break away from Britain. While many of were made to read this when we were young it is always good to go back to these classics and re-read them with a more mature mind set.

This weekend we celebrate our 235 year as a free country and these documents are important to read and re-read throughout our lives to ensure that we remember why we are the country we are.

Happy Independence Day! ( )
  gopfolk | Dec 12, 2012 |
A must read "pamphlet" of the day, which, is uncommonly apropos to today! In Common Sense, Mr. Paine deconstructs the monarchy of Great Britain and its destroys its concept of empire; where by, he cries for the independence of a continent from a tiny island crown.

In his essay, he lays out a framework which fairly closely resembles today's republican government of America.

I found some of his most famous and repeated line, yet found myself underlining much more. ( )
  HistReader | Mar 13, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Paineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
Tietjen, GregoryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wendel, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Man knows no Mafbr fave creating HEAVEN,
Or thofe whom choice and common good ordain.

Thomson
Dedication
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.
Quotations
Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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
      1788


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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140390162, Paperback)

"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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:45 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Enormously popular and widely read pamphlet, first published in January of 1776, clearly and persuasively argues for American separation from Great Britain and paves the way for the Declaration of Independence. Credited with having changed the minds of many, the highly influential landmark document attacks the monarchy, cites the evils of government and combines idealism with practical economic concerns.… (more)

» see all 12 descriptions

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