Common Sense

Front Cover
Oxford City Press, Feb 15, 2017 - 46 pages

Thomas Paine's Common Sense is just that - a simple passionate presentation of the case against monarchy, and for American Independence. But it was also much more: An inflammatory immediate best seller. It was reprinted numerous times in its first year and remains the all-time best selling American title. Today it is read for its place in history and as an example of persuasive writing.

This is the Bradford edition of 14 February, 1776. It includes Paine's appendix urging an immediate declaration of independence, and his Appeal to the Quakers.

"No writer has exceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style, in perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, and in simple and unassuming language." -- Thomas Jefferson..

"A pamphlet called 'Commonsense' makes a great noise. One of the vilest things that ever was published to the world. Full of false representations, lies, calumny, and treason, whose principles are to subvert all Kingly Governments and erect an Independent Republic." -- Nicholas Cresswell.

"I dreaded the effect so popular a pamphlet might have among the people, and determined to do all in my Power to counteract the effect of it." -- John Adams.

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User Review  - mvbdlr - LibraryThing

Firstly, I like his, use of vocabulary, & style of, writing. Secondly, I like his passion, & conviction, even though, I don't think, he's right, all the time. Thirdly, I am amused, & amazed, by, his, overuse, of, the, comma,., Read full review

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About the author (2017)

Born to parents with Quaker leanings, Thomas Paine grew up amid modest circumstances in the rural environs of Thetford, England. As the recipient of what he termed "a good moral education and a tolerable stock of useful learning," little in Paine's early years seemed to suggest that he would one day rise to a stunning defense of American independence in such passionate and compelling works as Common Sense (1776) and The American Crisis essays (1776-83). Paine's early years were characterized by a constant struggle to remain financially solvent while pursuing a number of nonintellectual activities. Nevertheless, the young Paine read such Enlightenment theorists as Isaac Newton and John Locke and remained dedicated to the idea that education was a lifelong commitment. From 1753 to 1759, Paine worked alternately as a sailor, a staymaker, and a customs officer. Between 1759 and 1772, he married twice. His first wife died within a year of their marriage, and Paine separated amicably from his second wife after a shop they operated together went bankrupt. While these circumstances seemed gloomy, Paine fortuitously made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin in London in 1773. Impressed by Paine's self-education, Franklin encouraged the young man to venture to America where he might prosper. Arriving in Philadelphia in 1774, Paine quickly found himself energized by the volatile nature of Revolutionary politics. Working as an editor of Pennsylvania Magazine, Paine found a forum for his passionate radical views. In the years that followed, Paine became increasingly committed to American independence, and to his conviction that the elitist and corrupt government that had ruled over him in England had little business extending its corrosive colonial power to the States. Moved by these beliefs, Paine published Common Sense (1776), a test that proved invaluable in unifying American sentiment against British rule. Later, after joining the fray as a soldier, Paine penned the familiar lines in "The American Crisis": "These are the times that try men's souls." Fifteen years later, Paine wrote his other famous work, Rights of Man (1791). Drawing on his eclectic experiences as a laborer, an international radical politician, and a revolutionary soldier, Paine asserted his Lockeian belief that since God created humans in "one degree only," then rights should be equal for every individual.

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