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Common Sense (Xist Classics) by [Paine, Thomas]
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Common Sense (Xist Classics) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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"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.

From Library Journal

Paine is one of those who proved the pen is mightier than the sword. Included here are several of the writings that forged the spirit of our nation, including Common Sense, The Crisis, The Rights of Man, The Age of Reason, and Other Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters. Note that two new Paine biographies have been recently published (LJ 11/15/94 and LJ 1/95).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 499 KB
  • Print Length: 54 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1481031414
  • Publisher: Xist Classics (March 10 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #419,348 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Thomas Paine's fierce pamphlet is certainly a powerful piece of rhetoric; it is easy to see how his works rallied the colonists to the cause of war.
Paine is on solid ground when he attacks the legitimacy of monarchy as an institution; he skillfully cuts apart monarchist theory, showing how morally bankrupt it is for someone to reign merely because their ancestors won a battle.
Where Paine errs is in his advocacy of violence as means to end British rule. The base of his argument is that since British troops had fired on colonial militias, all legitimacy of the British crown had ended. Furthermore, because human lives had been lost, settling for anything else than full, total, immediate independence would be a "waste" of these casualties.
Here, however, Paine seems to blissfully not care exactly who fires the first shot. If violence by the other side is all that one needs to justify violence -- there will be no end to war! Paine goes on further to reject out of hand any concept of a negotiated settlement with the British, arguing that the British government is a snake that could not be trusted, utterly evil and corrupt.
I suspect, however, that Tory colonists, many of whom later found their homes burned, their possessions stolen, and they themselves brutally tarred and feathered and run out of the country, would apply the same harsh description to the rebels. Paine, however, cares little for Tories, whom he dismisses as traitors, even going so far as to call for their execution. He even encloses a harsh appendix aimed at pacifist Quakers who had advocated an end to the violence.
Furthermore, had Paine's own logic been applied at other times, the blacks of the U.S.
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Format: Hardcover
A "must have" for any legitimate personal "library".
Paine's thoughts are important reading for every person who would call himself educated and versed in the history of ideas about how society should organize -- particularly "Common Sense" and "The Age of Reason". I myself would have included him in Stephen Covey's "Wisdom Literature" ("First Things First"). Carl Sagan cites him ("The Demon Haunted World") in support of his own reflections on "the God hypothesis".
COMMON SENSE speaks to form and purpose of government and was the pivotal Revolutionary pamphlet in which Paine disected and debunked the legitimacy of monarchy, giving voice to the growing feelings in the Colonies that being ruled by the King of England had become obsolete. Paine's articulation served to "tune" the chorused voices of the Colonies, which before his writing, were loud but out of tune. (War was underway, but the Colonies not well organized in a joint defense.) COMMON SENSE even has a refreshed relevance in the aftermath of the 9/11/01 tragedies in New York, as we re-examine some of our institutions.
THE AGE OF REASON will be disagreeable reading to devout followers of any organized religion -- particularly Christians -- as it is Paine's book-by-book disection and denunciation of the Bible (and, by extension, the "scriptures" of all other religions) as a collection of fables, nurtured through the ages for corrupt purposes of church leaders (starting hundreds of years BC). But, almost by definition, an educated person MUST acknowledge disagreeable ideas and THEN make disposition of them Once in a while "disagreement" is even persuaded to new thinking, n'est ce pas?.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To say the least, this iconic revolutionary pamphlet is a very interesting document. While some of Paine's arguments ring true; the fallacy behind the existence of a divine monarchy, the lack of coordination by being ruled by a country on the other side of the ocean, the countries with which Great Btritain had declared were to be supposed enemies of the Colonies and that the they were being governed for the good of England and not for the good of the Colonies, there are other arguments that are driven more from the emotion of nationalism rather than objective reasoning. If a malicious act has taken place, is the only plausible reaction that of fighting back militarily? How does Paine know that the Colonies were actually under the 'grace of God'? Was that written somewhere in a Holy Scripture or did God send Paine a direct message? Is religious toleration only the inclusion of additional Christian denominations, as Paine suggests, or is it the embrace of many different religious tenets? Are the Quakers to be chastised, as Paine suggests, because their Christian beliefs do not include violence? If Paine's view of the Colonies as being peaceful in nature, why does he place a great emphasis on the building of a huge naval fleet? If indeed 'all men are created equal' why are the Tories and the Loyalists treated as traitors to humanity? They merely felt that this issue was resolvable by a manner other than a vicious and bloody war. The differences of ideas should never label other people as being traitorous for the differences of opinions is what separates true democracy from crass imitators. Nor should they did create the spectacle of 'tarring and feathering' a person's long-standing neighbors over these differences.Read more ›
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