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Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Common Sense (edition 2021)

by Thomas Paine (Author)

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4,618572,099 (3.97)1 / 125
This pamphlet, which Paine published in 1776, put into print the word every man was thinking but no man dared say: Independence!
Title:Common Sense
Authors:Thomas Paine (Author)
Info:Independently published (2021), 80 pages
Collections:Your library

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Common Sense by Thomas Paine

  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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 American History: Thomas Paine and Common Sense7 unread / 7dan_c00000, January 2007

» See also 125 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Brilliant and eloquent. ( )
  BooksbyStarlight | Oct 25, 2022 |
I feel a bit ashamed that this is the first time that I have read Common Sense in its entirety. It is a piece of American history that deserves our attention and respect. It is easy to see why it affected people of its time in the way that it did, as it is clearly and simply written and sets forth in undeniable logic the issues in question at the time.

Masterfully titled, Paine’s points do indeed seem to be common sense. I was particularly struck by his deft destruction of the divine right of kings and the portion of the pamphlet that dealt with the construction of a navy. I cannot believe that, had I been a citizen of this time, I would have hesitated to grasp his logic and embrace the ideas he put forth.

He is often credited with having a huge influence on the decision that was taken by many to risk everything in order to sever ties with George III and win independence from English rule. While his writing was passionate, his thoughts were solid and did not smack of any unbridled dislike of the English as much as a thoughtful study of the problem and an almost unavoidable conclusion.

One fact that I was surprised by, and did not remember ever having come across in any history class, was that he had only been in America for two years prior to writing this treatise extolling separation. I wonder what the more established “founding fathers” thought of that, since many had already been here for generations.

I think you have to give this 5✯'s for its historical value, its impact, and its writing style. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
Thomas Paine references history and the Bible. He assumes his readers are well education in both history and the Bible. He also brings in humor to his writing. ( )
  nx74defiant | Mar 1, 2021 |
The best thing about this prophetic pamphlet is that one can find the seeds of American exceptionalism in its pages. Grand ideas about freedom, religious tolerance, government of the people, and, above everything else, breaking with the old European monarchies. The making of “the first new nation”.

Paine writes at a time when “the Continent” is hesitating between “reconciliation” with Britain and “independance” [sic] from her, and he cannot be more emphatic about his support for the latter.

In any case, Paine doesn't delve into the details of political philosophy, ethics, or legal considerations about independence. It's not an academic paper. He speaks more like a politician, or at most an intellectual addressing the masses. He appeals to laymen, and tries to convince them with simple arguments — even populist ones, at times.

One aspect of Common Sense that causes frustration is the lack of — let's say — “scientific rigour”. This is something I've noticed in all essays I've read that were written before the modern era of strict adherence to the scientific method and to peer review in the Academy (eg On Liberty, Il Principe, The Communist Manifesto, On the Origin of Species). Every other page, you find yourself replying to the author in your head: “citation needed!”; or lamenting the absence of numerical support for his thesis, in the form of statistics, studies, polls, etc. Or very sceptical about the liberal use of quotations from scripture. There are no references. And there isn't much structure. All these things feel strange for anyone today who has had at least minimal exposure to scientific papers, or even to non-fiction books written in the last few decades: we now understand that to describe natural phenomena, to annotate past events, to defend a course of action for society… it is essential to write in an unambiguous and concise way; to produce evidence that supports every single claim we make; to lay out the main thesis, state of the art, arguments and counter-arguments comprehensively; and to measure them as objectively as possible. The huge differences between the styles of those old essays and the strict format of scientific papers and press articles today (even less formal ones, not reviewed by peers) are very interesting to watch. One wishes sometimes that the old authors were alive today, to rewrite their important books in a manner that would better support their ideas…

I'm giving the book 🌟🌟 only because, while it is historically very relevant, it doesn't make for a particularly enlightening or entertaining read. ( )
  tripu.info | Jan 5, 2021 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Paineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Appelbaum, StanleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Appleby, JoyceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beeman, Richard R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benn, TonyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Books, PennyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conway, Moncure DanielEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cronauer, AdrianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dabos, LaurentIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deitschman, CraigNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Muccio De Quattro, PietroPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dixon, WalterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabaldon, DianaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gregory TietjenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hamel, ChristopherPostfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herder, RonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Higonnet, Patricesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramnick, IsaacEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larkin, EdwardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maggiori, CarlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marshall, Qariesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meinzer, LotharHerausgebersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Millière, AugusteIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neufeld, BobReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortolà, JaumeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelka, TeresaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pentleton, CarolDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perry, Darryl WEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, W. StittIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stamper, Charles F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, AlanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tietjen, GregoryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vafiadis, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van De Bilt, Eduardsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van der Weyde, William M.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wapenaar, Lexsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburton, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wendel, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
ZolaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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