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1. Thomas Paine Collection: Common
2. Thomas Paine : Collected Writings
3. Common Sense by Thomas Paine (complete
4. Common Sense, The Rights of Man
5. Common Sense
6. Thomas Paine and the Promise of
7. The Age of Reason - Thomas Paine
8. The Works of Thomas Paine (Volume
9. Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom
10. Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution,
11. Common Sense and Other Writings
12. Common Sense
14. Rights of Man, Common Sense, and
15. The American Crisis
16. Thomas Paine: Common Sense and
17. The Writings Of Thomas Paine,
18. Common Sense(American Classics
19. The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation
20. Common Sense (Penguin Great Ideas)

1. Thomas Paine Collection: Common Sense, Rights of Man, Age of Reason, An Essay on Dream, Biblical Blasphemy, Examination Of The Prophecies (Forgotten Books)
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 544 Pages (2007-11-07)
list price: US$12.52 -- used & new: US$12.52
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Asin: 1605060305
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description:

"Common Sense was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 9, 1776, during the American Revolution. Paine wrote it with editorial feedback from Benjamin Rush, who came up with the title. The document denounced British rule and, through its immense popularity, contributed to fomenting the American Revolution... Paine donated the copyright for Common Sense to the states, and as one biographer noted, Paine made nothing of the estimated 150,000 to 600,000 copies that were eventually printed (various sources disagree on the number of printed copies in Paine's lifetime). In fact, he had to pay for the first printing himself." (Source: wikipedia.org)

"Rights of Man was written by Thomas Paine in 1791 as a reply to Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke. It has been interpreted as a work defending the French Revolution, but it is also a seminal work embodying the ideas of liberty and human equality." (Source: wikipedia.org)

"The Age of Reason: Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology... critiques institutionalized religion and challenges the inerrancy of the Bible. Published in three parts in 1794, 1795 and 1807, it was a bestseller in America, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. British audiences, however, fearing increased political radicalism as a result of the French revolution, received it with more hostility." (Source: wikipedia.org)

Essay on Dream was first published in 1807. Mr. Paine attempts to show by what operation of the mind a Dream is produced in sleep, and applying the same to the account of Dreams in the New Testament.

Biblical Blasphemy is a short work summarizing Mr. Paine's Deistic beliefs.

Examination of the Prophecies was first published by Mr. Paine in 1807, and was the last of his writings edited by himself. It is evidently extracted from his answer to the bishop of Llandaff, or from his third part of the Age of Reason, both of which, it appears by his will, he left in manuscript.

Table of Contents:

Publisher’s Preface; Common Sense; Introduction; Of The Origin And Design Of Government In General, With Concise Remarks On The English Constitution; Of Monarchy And Hereditary Succession; Thoughts On The Present State Of American Affairs; Of The Present Ability Of America, With Some Miscellaneous Reflexions; Appendix; Rights Of Man; Part I.; Editor's Introduction.; Paine's Preface To The English Edition; Paine's Preface To The French Edition; Rights Of Man; Miscellaneous Chapter; Conclusion; Part ii. Second, Combining Principle And Practice.; French Translator's Preface.; Preface; Introduction.; Of Society And Civilisation; Of The Origin Of The Present Old Governments; Of The Old And New Systems Of Government; Of Constitutions; Ways And Means Of Improving The Condition Of Europe Interspersed With Miscellaneous Observations; Appendix; The Age Of Reason; Editor's Introduction With Some Results Of Recent Researches.; Part I.; The Author's Profession Of Faith.; Of Missions And Revelations.; Concerning The Character Of Jesus Christ, And His History.; Of The Bases Of Christianity.; Examination In Detail Of The Preceding Bases.; Of The True Theology.; Examination Of The Old Testament.; Of The New Testament.; In What The True Revelation Consists.; Concerning God, And The Lights Cast On His Existence And Attributes By The Bible.; Of The Theology Of The Christians; And The True Theology.; The Effects Of Christianism On Education; Proposed Reforms.; Comparison Of Christianism With The Religious Ideas Inspired By Nature.; System Of The Universe.; Advantages Of The Existence Of Many Worlds In Each Solar System.; Application Of The Preceding To The System Of The Christians.; Of The Means Employed In All Time, And Almost Universally, To Deceive The Peoples.; Recapitulation.; Part ii.; Preface; The Old Testament; The New Testame ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Informative history
I bought this to become better informed about our founding fathers, and the world as seen through the eyes of early Americans.Would buy it again

5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK PLEASE!
This is a must read for anyone who loves liberty and hates being lied to by the establishments that enslave us all.

Pick up and read this before it's banned!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Must Read" readiing
Incredible insight from so long ago.Thomas Paine wrote without regard to "political correctness" or fear of reprisal apparently.This collection of his
thoughts should be a must read for anyone who is interested in social and religious issues.It's as timely today as it was in the 1700s.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Thomas Paine Collection!
This is the collection of the best of the Revolutionary Thomas Paine. Well worth the reading. Should be mandantory reading in high school.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thomas Paine's Collection
This guy is a tough read.Hard to put alot of this into perspective given that it was written 200 years ago.This guy is obviously smart, and the knowledge he possesses is a good insight into the availability of information at that time and his level of intelligence.He would be rolling over in his grave if he saw what the religious right was trying to do in this country today.His perspectives are enlightening and sometimes frightening given what was at risk.
Paine's writings are a good review of how many of the founding father's felt about our country, oppression, religion and the rights of man. A definite must read. ... Read more

2. Thomas Paine : Collected Writings : Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters (Library of America)
by Thomas Paine
 Hardcover: 906 Pages (1995-03-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.00
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Asin: 1883011035
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Paine was the impassioned democratic voice of the Age of Revolution, and this volume brings together his best-known works--"Common Sense," "The American Crisis," "Rights of Man," "The Age of Reason," along with a selection of letters, articles and pamphlets that emphasizes Paine's American years. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thomas Paine
This was purchased to 1)assist my child in school; it was helpful, and 2) to add to history book collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
We are losing what made this country great in these difficult times. Hopefully more people will read books like this in order to bring some sense of sanity back to our nation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great History Refresher
A much needed refresher of what makes our country great, the philosophy our founders found to be crucial to the makings of a republic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Man of True Feelings For His Country. Not his Government.
Paine was a patriot that believed that the country belonged to it's people, and it was up to the citizens to keep their democracy.
He like the other founders knew that in order to be a truly free people they must rebel against th tyranny of England and set up a democracy where the people ruled it's government.
A revoluntary, patriot whose readings is a must for anyone that is for keeping the government, of, by and for the people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent - Must Read!
A great read.Especially The Age of Reason. For those of you who have had doubts about the book of fairy tales that the church insists is "the word of god" and a book of facts than this book is for you.Thomas Paine is masterful at using the bible's own contradictions to discredit itself. ... Read more

3. Common Sense by Thomas Paine (complete original text)
by Thomas Paine
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-03-03)
list price: US$1.25
Asin: B003AUTEM2
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The classic book, Common Sense by Thomas Paine.  Includes Thomas Paine's thoughts on American Government and the Constitution.  Common Sense by Thomas Paine, Chapters include: 








Common Sense by Thomas Paine, great for PDA,smartphone,e-book,ebooks,ebook,mobi,PalmOS,Palm,Pocket PC,PocketPC,Blackberry,Windows Mobile,Sony Clie,ebook reader.

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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Timely After All These Years...
Mr. Paine's treatise is as timely now as it was when he first published it at the birth of our nation. If more Americans would take the time to read this, they would choose their political leaders much more carefully and rebel against the picking of their pockets, the plundering of their wealth, and the calculated attacks against individual liberty. ... Read more

4. Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 474 Pages (2009-04-16)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$4.96
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Asin: 1442143045
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine written by legendary author Thomas Paine is widely considered to be one of the top 100 greatest books of all time. This great classic will surely attract a whole new generation of readers. For many, Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic literature, this gem by Thomas Paine is highly recommended. Published by Classic House Books and beautifully produced, Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine would make an ideal gift and it should be a part of everyone's personal library. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars solid read
This is a book that should be read by every citizen. It has remained vibrant and still addresses the issues we face today.

4-0 out of 5 stars Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential
Witen from his personal papers. and take a while to get use to the writing and old English meaning. But overall worth reading you get and understanding that we as an early colony are having same isses today with this OBAMA admin as the colonies had back then. As they say history repeats itself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
Thomas Paine's arguments defending human rights and political revolution, as well as his opposition to hereditary and abusive government, are an absolute classic.Some may find Paine to lack a certain level of depth in his analysis, but the strength, clarity, and historical significance of his arguments are very rarely matched.This is an absolute must read for anyone interested in history or politics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential American Reader
I bought this with the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federlist Papers. They form a basic part of American thought at the time of our founding.

Thomas Paine's work was the spark that ignited Americans to seek their own way. You can't understand the American mind of 1776 without reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just as advertised
A classic. Too bad Americans don't know this guy. Bought it for my European nephew for him to understand the USA. ... Read more

5. Common Sense
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 60 Pages (2010-11-04)
list price: US$6.76 -- used & new: US$6.76
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Asin: 193604143X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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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.
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Customer Reviews (67)

5-0 out of 5 stars Paine Makes Sense
Thomas Paine is considered one of America's founding fathers. Even though he arrived in British North American colonies in 1774, just two years before the war for independence, he was immediately convinced of the necessity of the independence. Furthermore, as a pamphleteer he strove to convince other reluctant colonists that their rights will only be truly respected if they achieve a complete independence from Britain. The most famous of these pamphlets, "Common Sense," was published early in 1776 and arguably had the greatest impact on the colonists' decision to declare their independence later on that year.

Paine's writing is lucid and clear even today, some 236+ years after the pamphlet has been published. Paine uses arguments from history, the Bible, and most importantly common sense in order to convince his readers in the soundness of their striving for independence. Paine is very passionate in his presentation, and it is hard not to be swayed by his arguments. Furthermore, some of the main points that he made are extremely relevant for any generation, as they cut to the very essence of what it means to have a good and legitimate government. This is one book that anyone who is interested in politics and public good ought to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Relevant Today
Books weren't as common during the time of America's Independence as they are now.However, the people in the colonies that became the first citizens of the United States of America were for more literate than the people in the U.S.A. today.Our forefathers read a great deal and the much of the literature of choice was the pamphlet.More akin to a newsletter than the tourist brochures we now call pamphlets, the most famous of all the pamphlets from the period was Thomas Paine's COMMON SENSE.During the time of the revolution, 150,000 Americans (about 20% of the population) had read Paine's COMMON SENSE.Written over 200 years ago, it's amazing how relevant the document is and how fresh most of it reads.

COMMON SENSE is divided into four major sections. The first is about the origins of government and the English Constitution.The second section illustrates the folly of monarchy as a form of government.The third section talks about the situation in the colonies at the time of the writing.The forth section explains why the colonies should rise against the British and why the time to do so is at hand.There is also an appendix which counters the arguments in a speech King George delivered that was aimed at the colonists.

COMMON SENSE was a document that the founders were familiar. It remains a work that Americans today should all read and study.It is a work that isn't just interesting because of its place in history, but also because of the arguments it makes that are still fresh and valid today.It's a short little work full of political common sense.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good reading
I am studying the History of the Revolution and this book was a great read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Clarity during an unclear time in America
Common Sense was written by Thomas Paine in 1776. In this short book he clearly and concisely provides his reasoning for America to break from Britain.

Chapter 1:
Paine begins with the origin and design of governments. In other words, how and why governments are formed. He then moves on to explain the complexities of the English constitution. Paine states:

"There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless." I can only imagine the reaction of the King upon reading such words.

Chapter 2:

This chapter discusses the role of monarchy and hereditary succession which Paine is clearly not a proponent of either. Hereditary succession means that one day the country can be ruled by someone unfit to rule...a king who is a rogue or a fool. Also, there is the chance that the throne is subject to be possessed by a minor. According to Paine, "The public becomes the prey to every miscreant, who can tamper successfully with the follies either of age or infancy."

Chapter 3:

In this chapter Paine vehemently opposes Great Britain having any governmental control or connection to America. He states, "To be always running three or four thousand miles with a tale or a petition, waiting four or five months for an answer, which, when obtained, requires five or six more to explain it, will in a few years be looked upon as a folly and childishness - there was a time when it was proper, and there is a proper time for it to cease."

Paine also states, "America is only a secondary object in the system of British politics - England consults the good of this country no further than it answers her own purpose. Wherefore, her own interest leads her to suppress the growth of ours in every case which doth not promote her advantage, or in the least interferes with it."

Chapter 4:

Paine talks about the ability of America and the importance of having a Navy which will not only protect the country but will provide jobs. Paine states that America can produce what it needs and to rely on Britain is not to be a reliable option. Paine is adamant that the current time to break from Great Britain was now and that no better an opportunity will present itself in the future.

In Common Sense, Paine provides a good argument for America to break from Britain and their form of government which he views as completely ineffective. Common Sense is well written and very clearly expresses Paine's thoughts. I recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Common Sense
DAVID HOOD ... Read more

6. Thomas Paine and the Promise of America
by Harvey J. Kaye
Paperback: 336 Pages (2006-07-25)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.70
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Asin: 0809093448
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Thomas Paine was one of the most remarkable political writers of the modern world and the greatest radical of a radical age. Through writings like Common SenseÂ--and words such as Â"The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth,Â" Â"We have it in our power to begin the world over again,Â" and Â"These are the times that try men's soulsÂ"Â--he not only turned America's colonial rebellion into a revolutionary war but, as Harvey J. Kaye demonstrates, articulated an American identity charged with exceptional purpose and promise.

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Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read about the true father of the American Revolution
I heard Harvey Kaye on Bill Moyers Journal and decided to read the book on my summer vacation.A true eye opener about the true father of the American revolution and how the polictics of personal destruction pre-date the 24x7 cable news cycle.

A great read about a great and doubt difficulat man.

4-0 out of 5 stars Equal liberty for all (3.6*s)
It is the position of the author that Paine was essentially the first well-known radical democrat in America, exported those views to both England and France in the 1790s, and has inspired those seeking to counter the forces of oppression ever since. Though Paine was a latecomer to the revolutionary cause in the colonies, having arrived only in Nov, 1774, there is little dispute that his pamphlet "Common Sense," 1776, was a break with a pattern of caution that many followed in regards to separation with England. His excoriation of the English government including the King, which reached vast numbers of colonists, was a huge factor in increasing revolutionary fever to a level sufficient for a formal Declaration of Independence only six months later.

This book is not a biography, per se, of Paine. The first third of the book follows the political part of his life. The author's first purpose is to demonstrate the significant influence that Paine's writings had on the revolutionary effort in America and in Europe. His sixteen "American Crisis" papers during the War helped to recharge American resolve during very trying times for the American military. "Rights of Man," 1792, was highly critical of the vast class disparities existing in British aristocratic society, which resulted in his conviction of sedition in absentia. "Age of Reason," written in France in 1795, denounced institutionalized churches "as human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." "Agrarian Justice," 1796, explained poverty as being a consequence of exploitation and the power of private property. It is a body of work that to that time in history may not have been matched in sheer audaciousness.

Paine was controversial in the colonies from the beginning. The author suggests that had his identity been known when "Common Sense" was published, that is, not being a member of the respected elite, that his writings may well have had a lesser hearing and impact. His advocacy of equality and democracy earned him the enmity of many elites, including John Adams. But his "Age of Reason," coming well after the U.S. achieved independence was far more harmful to his reputation and standing. Many who admired his republicanism were abhorred by his apparent turn towards religious infidelity. He died a scorned man.

The remainder of the book is concerned with the efforts of various groups over the next two centuries to overcome various forms of suppression or discrimination, many being led by individuals with varying degrees of knowledge of the work of Paine. Among those groups are "workingmen's advocates, abolitionists, freethinkers, suffragists, anarchists, populists, socialists, progressives, labor and community organizers, peace activists, and liberals." Among those the author attempts to connect to Paine are Lincoln, Walter Lloyd Garrison, Mark Twain, Eugene Debs, and FDR. In cycling through the struggles of these groups, the extent of Paine's influence is rather vaguely drawn. The author shows that in different eras Paine's reputation was either rising or falling: some writing laudatory biographies, some denigrating him; some trying to establish memorials and statues, others rejecting the same.

The author notes that in times of national crises, there is often a nostalgic turn to the founding. Even conservatives, who as a rule are less than fond of democracy and freethinking, are willing to invoke a carefully sanitized Paine, especially the Paine that is a strong advocate for liberty and new beginnings. Ronald Reagan at his nomination in 1980 famously recalled Paine's words: "We have it in our power to begin the world over again." More typical of conservatives, however, is Theodore Roosevelt's labeling of Paine as a "filthy little atheist." The author makes the assumption that Paine is a leading "Founding Father," the equal of Jefferson, Adams, or Washington. Perhaps it could be argued that though he certainly was a luminary of the period, his lack of holding legislative or executive positions undermines his inclusion at that level.

In addition, perhaps the author overstates Paine's radicalism, at least as understood in modern times. Paine was opposed to all-powerful governments and to excessive wealth, especially aristocratic wealth, and its potential to oppress. But he was fully in favor of commerce, which, when played out, can certainly result in great economic disparity. His time was before Marxian thought. The author's broad use of "radicalism" is seen in his contention that most all Americans have been radicals since Paine's time - a statement that begs to be explained. Americans are mindful of personal liberties and rights, certainly the right to vote as a part of formal democracy, but radical democratic measures, such as worker control of factories or the state, have seldom been advanced.

The book is an informative overview of Paine's life as a writer of controversial tracts, in addition to being an overview of many of the main movements in American society attempting to overcome discrimination or entrenched parts of the status quo in need of reform - often drastic. There is a degree of repetitiveness about the book, as the various groups are cycled through in brief fashion with only a tenuous attachment to Paine being established. Rather than showing a direct connection between Paine and those movements, what is more evident is that Paine-like individuals have frequently risen to the occasion in our history, though with mixed results and then disappearing from our collective consciousness, just like Paine. Book just slips in as a four-star book.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Book to Avoid
This is one of the weakest and poorly written books I have ever read.The author fails to present a clear biography of Paine, while failing to provide insight into Paine's writings.

The primary focus of the book is to take back Paine's writings for the author's political position.The author attempts to take writings from the 18th century and make them the basis for modern Marxism and Socialism.Besides the obvious problem with this anachronisitic approach, the author does not present his position logically.

There are gaps in the biographical timeline, salient behavioral facts are glossed over (Paine's inability to find secure employment), the author ignores Paine's acceptance of the excesses of the French revolution, the author makes excuses for Paine's return to the U.S., and there is a superficial treatment of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.According to the author Thomas Paine was the American Revolution, no one else mattered. It was only Thomas Paine's words which brought victory; not the loans from Europe, not the continental army, and most certainly not the leadership of George Washington.

In addition, the author uses code words for progressive/socialist/radical thought, which deserves clearer definition for the reader.The book would be fine if one is blind to rigorous, thoughtful and rational discussion.If one accepts the radical dogma then this book will help keep the reader in a cocoon of ignorance.The author makes the most basic error of interpreting the writings from the 18th century from the position of the 1960s radical.

The book completely fails to prove the author's position, instead it reverts to a illogical syllogism -Thomas Paine was a great radical and I am a radical therefore I am great.The book reads like campaign literature for a socialist politician.The author takes excessive liberties with historical fact and he fails to back up his assertions.For example a radical of the 18th century cannot automatically be grouped with a radical of the 1960s just because both are called radicals.In the 18th century any form of representative democracy was radical, and one based on a citizenry of the average wage earner was even more radical.

This book is not worth reading, let alone purchasing.The book is an opinion piece, a collection of blog comments strung together with poor writing and worse grammar.There has to be better expressions of progressive thought than this book; if there is not than we should all be very worried.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Topic, Average Writing
Thomas Paine was a luminary, and one of the (if not the) most forward-thinking of his era.I am sure there is a definitive biography out there, waiting to be written, that will give us the true depth of this man.

Unfortunately, this is not it.This book gives little insight that any reader of Paine's works could not have gleaned on his/her own.The writing style tends to the pedantic, with awkward sentences and trite constructions.

The book does give a good starting point for a scholar who might be interested in real research into Paine's life.

Bottom line - the book is worth reading if you can pick it up in a used bookstore.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book with a hidden tragic story
This book takes a surprising amount of time to read due to the 'hidden' density of the writing. It is a superlative history of one of our most important founding fathers. The impact of 'Common Sense' by Paine simply can hardly over stated. This book is not a dry or boring read, it simply takes more time than I had expected.

The gnawing knowledge that America largely ditched Paine after he dutifully served his purpose is disturbing. He contributed the proceeds from Common Sense to buy mittens for our troops. When imprisoned in France and marked for execution, precisely noyone rode to the rescue. The reason that Paine was largely forgotten is that he had acquired a reputation for not being a man of solid faith. In spite of a remarkable literary career, Paine was destined to die a poor man with a poorly attended funeral. It does seem that he liked to imbibe in the spirits more than he ought to have.

Teddy Roosevelt went on to describe Paine as a "filthy little athiest". He was actually none of the above.

Paine and Samuel Adams suffered the same fate. Both were men of tremendous talent with the pen. Both worked tirelessly. Both played inestimable roles in our freedom. Both tend to be forgotten by mainstream historians. Neither one was an aristocrat. Are historians largely elitist snobs? ... Read more

7. The Age of Reason - Thomas Paine
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 180 Pages (2010-05-29)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$4.95
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Asin: 1603863419
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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An Unabridged Edition (Parts I and II) From 'The Writings Of Thomas Paine,' Edited By Moncure Conway With All Charts and Tables, Notes and Footnotes, To Include A Chronology Of Paine's Life ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars age of reason
Interesting to see, men from such a long "time" ago, with MORE BRAINS then the one's 'government" today!

5-0 out of 5 stars Thomas Paine destroys the Bible, he absolutely murdered it
I was going to write my review tomorrow, but I couldn't wait. This is absolutely the best book I have ever read. Thomas Paine absolutely destroyed the Bible. I challenge any Christian alive today who hasn't read this book to read it, I challenge you. The hardcore Christians, the fundamentalists, and those who take the Bible as the literal word of God, I dare you. When you're through reading this, you'll never pick up the Bible again, I promise you. Paine starts his book of by saying he believes in one God and no more. Just one, not a three in one special you get with Christianity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). He brilliantly and eloquently lays out all the hypocrisies, inaccuracies, and contradictions in the Old and New Testament. Paine says the word of God cannot be written in some book because it is pure. Man can take his word and twist it around however it suits him. I told a few people that if this one true God does exist, man has severely distorted his word. With 1,500 Christian faiths in the U.S. alone and 38,000 worldwide, and so many different religions, how can we say ANY of them are the true word of God. Different religions with different "holy scriptures" all claiming to be the true word of God. As Thomas Paine says, how can they all be right? My point exactly! This man thought 214 years ago how I think today.

He says when someone gets a message directly from a higher power, it's a revelation. But when I turn around and tell you, it now becomes second hand information. And Paine doesn't do "second-hand" information, and neither do I. He lays out a brilliant example: when the apostle Thomas didn't believe Jesus had risen and people saw him, he said he had to see it for himself. He wasn't going to believe it simply because someone else told him. Thomas shows us right here why we should be skeptics of what others say, especially when it comes to religion.

Paine shows how one book of the Bible says one thing, and yet another book says something else. Example: in the Gospel of Matthew, there are 28 generations between Jesus and King David. In Luke, there are 42. Well gee, since all of these men followed Jesus, wouldn't they agree? And when Jesus was crucified and the earthquake came, only Matthew mentions it. Why? Paine says that either the gospels were great liars, or that these men DID NOT author the books of the Bible. There are just too many contradictions to prove him wrong. The angel who was to tell of the "holy conception" came to Joseph in one Gospel, but to Mary in another. How can there be so many contradictions in a book that has been claimed to be inspired by God? This is why Paine said he does not believe the Bible is the true word of God. He also says that if one part of the Bible has contradictions, how can we trust any of it? And how can we simply discount other "holy" inspired books like the Koran, but believe in the Bible when it has soooooo many obvious contradictions? How can pastors preach this every Sunday? How can they tell their congregation of the earthquake in Matthew's account, but when they read from Luke, Mark, or John, not mention it? Don't the pastors even realize this?

There is the assumption that Moses wrote the Torah, or the first five books the Bible. The children of Israel (having reached the promised land)ate a food called maana. Moses died before the children reached the promised land, even the Bible says this. How then did Moses write what the children ate when he was dead?

So what does Thomas Paine do in this book? Simple. He points out the hypocrisies,inaccuracies,and contradictions of the "holy" Bible...................and doesn't even go outside of the Bible to do it! Do you know what would happen if pastors were to read this book and see all the hypocrisies of their Bible? What would they make of it?

Even in Genesis, one chapter says the things around Adam came first and then Adam was made, but the next chapter says Adam was made first and THEN the things around him. If God inspired the Bible, wouldn't it be consistent from Genesis all the way to Revelations? One more thing: Paine points out that the word "prophesy" meant a poet or someone who played an instrument in those days, not someone who could tell the future. He points out how many so called "prophets" in the Old Testament ended up being wrong about their predictions. As time passed, the word prophet became synonymous with telling the future. So the church took it and ran with it.

Thomas Paine was such a brilliant man. He's one example of why so many people incorrectly believe we are a Christian nation when we are not. Many of our Founders were like Paine, deists, not Christian.

This is a must read for every man, woman, child, and if your pet can read, give it to them too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Common Sense for Reason
Common Sense by Thomas Paine was a hit 250 years ago, and still is today.It's logical to conclude that since this author's opinions in Common Sense were on the mark, and still are, his opinions with respect to religion might also be worthy of consideration and reading.How could he be so right on one level, and wrong on another.It is interesting that millions of Christians champion this patriot as gift from God, yet they are completely unaware of his greatest work, The Age of Reason.It is a fascinating paradox.Paine was one of the greatest soldiers in the cause of freedom, and one day he will stand as one of the bravest soldiers in the cause of overcoming one of the greatest tyrannies over the mind of man--religious ideology (Thomas Jefferson).All religious "believers" owe it to themselves to read Paine's Age of Reason.It is a refreshing work, and a liberating introduction to self realization.A true and influencial classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True American Hero
Writing this in a time of extraordinary intolerance for freethinkers, and even in the dawn of the US at a time when religion - or more accurately the self-imposed religious order - still ran the show, Paine writes a clear, cutting and precise dissection of the Bible, documenting clearly its fabrication, contradictions and true awfulness with no evidence other than the books themselves.He documents how the "word of God" was determined by votes 300 years after JC supposedly lived and exposes all of religion's self-serving hypocrisy and ridiculous man-made pretensions to represent the maker.The interesting note here is that Paine is by no means an Atheist.He is a Deist (one who believes the universe was created by God but that that is self-evident from the world, stars and creation around us, and his representation of justness in our inherent moral code, and that God plays no daily part in our lives).And it's all the more powerful for that.Demonstrating a mastery of the language sadly lacking in today's society, Paine demonstrates the courage (even fearing death as he did during much of its writing) to express articulately his point.This is more relevant in today's world of hypocrisy, contradictions and self-serving revelation from the religious right than ever.A must read.And to those of you who wrap yourselves in the flag while claiming this is a Christian country, read a book by a true American hero and challenge the utterly inaccurate bluster, fake outrage and moral double-standards of your cohorts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sick of Hearing That America Was Founded as a "Christian Nation"? Read This!
It amazes me that the same people who want to put crosses and biblical commandments in public places, and use "The US was founded as a Christian nation..." as an excuse for their ignorant hypocrisy, have the gall to bring up our forefathers when the man often cited as the Father of the American Revolution has written such a scathing critique of organized religion. And it's not just Thomas Paine. What about Jefferson's Bible "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" which removed all mentions of supernatural powers and boiled the teachings of Jesus down to moral lessons that all religions and non-religious people can agree on?

If you've ever found yourself arguing with an idiot (yes, I see the irony considering the title of a popular book by just such an idiot) and they brought up how we're a Christian nation - YOU need to read The Age of Reason. ... Read more

8. The Works of Thomas Paine (Volume 2); A Hero in the American Revolution. With an Account of His Life
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 184 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$16.89 -- used & new: US$16.39
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Asin: 1458909492
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This is an OCR edition without illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text. However, purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original rare book from GeneralBooksClub.com. You can also preview excerpts from the book there. Purchasers are also entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Volume: 2; Original Published by: E. Haskell in 1854 in 288 pages; Subjects: Literary Collections / American / General; Philosophy / Political; Philosophy / Religious; Political Science / General; Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights; Political Science / History & Theory; Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights; Religion / Philosophy; ... Read more

9. Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom
by Jack Fruchtman
Paperback: 560 Pages (1996-06-05)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$11.12
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Asin: 1568580630
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The leading Thomas Paine expert in the U.S. presents both a biography of the controversial Founding Father and an analysis of his works. Known as "the Voice of the Revolution, " Paine was a truly original thinker, a man whose magnificient, freedom-loving spirit is richly captured in this major biography.
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Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring biography
Thomas Paine is surely one of the most underrated of the Founding Fathers. Jack Fruchtman explains the man's accomplishments as well as his independent spirit in great detail. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the creation of the United States, and one of the key figures who provided many of the intellectual sparks necessary to make it happen. Paine was also one of the first intellectuals to openly challenge the truth of the Bible, and to call out organized religion generally as a fraud designed to enslave the masses. For his courage in standing up for the common man against the powerful forces of the established churches, Paine was vilified by many, but his ideas and inspiration live on. Paul Gehrman, Author, Kaleidoscope

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny
Jack Fruchtman has done a fine job of giving us a total picture of Paine, warts and all.This is an intelligent, balanced and humane treatment of the life of a complex man who tends to be either demonized or deified by those who write about him.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars outstanding
One of the most enjoyable biographies I've ever read. This book is meticulously researched and well written. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the ideas and the spirit of one of the most important figures of the American Revolution.

5-0 out of 5 stars The life of Freedom's Founding Father
When asked to name the Founding Fathers of America, most people will name Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin.Those who have read a book or two on the early America may also say Adams, Hamilton, and Madison.

I bet that very few people would name Thomas Paine.That is unfortunate and would be fixed quickly if this book were more widely read.

"Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom" devotes little time to Paine's early years, focusing mainly on his life after arriving in America a few years before Independence.

Before reading this fine biography, I had not given Thomas Paine much thought beyond being the author of "Common Sense".I now realize the many roles he played in both the American and French revolutions and in furthering the cause of freedom and liberty in an age of monarchy.

Also check out:

- "Tom Paine and Revolutionary America" by Eric Foner
- "46 Pages: Tom Paine, Common Sense, and the Turning Point to Independence" by Scott Liell
- "Tom Paine: A Political Life" by John Keane

Highly Recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars A good look at a revolutionary figure
In the hierarchy of founding fathers, Thomas Paine is not in the top echelon, but he is significant.His principal contribution was Common Sense, a pamphlet that spurred the independence movement in the early days of the Revolution.

One of the themes that seemed to run through Paine's life was a commitment to ideology that often had negative effects.While he was a man who backed his words with actions, he did it at a cost:he had few lifelong relationships, he was often broke and he even spent a year in jail, with the threat of execution constantly hanging over him.In the conflict between idealism and practicality, Paine favored the former.

Fruchtman's biography does a good job in describing this important historical figure.At times slow (I feel because there are points in Paine's life that aren't very interesting), it is overall a good, educational read.It makes me feel that if Paine had exercised a little bit more common sense in his own life, he might have been even a greater man. ... Read more

10. Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations
by Craig Nelson
Paperback: 432 Pages (2007-09-04)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$1.54
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Asin: 0143112384
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A fresh new look at the Enlightenment intellectual who became the most controversial of America's founding fathers

Despite his being a founder of both the United States and the French Republic, the creator of the phrase "United States of America," and the author of Common Sense, Thomas Paine is the least well known of America's founding fathers. This edifying biography by Craig Nelson traces Paine's path from his years as a London mechanic, through his emergence as the voice of revolutionary fervor on two continents, to his final days in the throes of dementia. By acquainting us as never before with this complex and combative genius, Nelson rescues a giant from obscurity-and gives us a fascinating work of history. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment apostle and pamphleteer, revolutionary naif, and flawed pol
This is a very good read on a controversial writer and activist from the revolutionary era.In many ways, it is a classic "life and times" bio, but it is also a wonderfulinquiry into political philosophy and the American character.

Paine started out as a dress maker without much education - he never mastered Latin - but soon ended up in London, where he became an enthusiastic autodidact in the Enlightenment mold, attempting to look beyond the classics and question everything.He befriended Benjamin Franklin, then a celebrity resident of England and media mogul, who provided him with reference letters to move to Philadelphia.He arrived on the cusp of the revolution, immediately got a job as an editor, and quickly wrote his most famous work, Common Sense.To say that that pamphlet was the greatest best seller of its era is an understatement:it, like many other of his works, sold second only to the Bible in the years immediately after he wrote it.Not only did it catapult him to international fame, but it supposedly helped to galvanize the American public to look beyond their traditional fealty to King George III and think of their own political independence.Paine then became a soldier (not a very good one) and correspondent during the Revolutionary War, providing vital information and propaganda to the public.He work was read or listened to by fully half the population in North America by some estimates.

Interestingly, Paine worked at cross purposes to his own interests in this period.Hoping to get as large an audience as possible, he renounced all royalites, charging as little as possible and donating any profits to George Washington (for such things as mittens for the soldiers).This left him poor, if laudably committed to his ideals.He also cultivated extraordinary friendships with Jefferson and others, though also made(after initial friendships) innumerable enemies who vehemently opposed him for the rest of their lives, including John Adams.

Feeling slighted and after many severe political mistakes, Paine decided to head back to Europe to foment AMerican style revolutions there as well as promote a metal bridge he had designed as the Enlightenment polymath that he was.Back in ENgland, he wrote a pamphlet against aristocracy and the king, which got him branded as a traitor and eventually put a death sentence on him that any British vessel encountering him would have carried out immediately.So, he skipped over to France, which was having its own revolution, and due to his fame was elected a deputy to the Assemblee Nationale, even though he didn't speak French!Once again, he made so many enemies with his uncompromising and principled positions, which landed him in jail during the terror and in danger of his life.

In France, he also composed an essay on deism, the enlightenment version of Christianity that was skeptical and argued that worship of God should be rational and include inquiry into nature as Newton had done. While it achieved an immense following, this pamphlet also undermined his image in America with its arguments against organized churches and their self-proclaimed monopolies on the word of God.His reputation would never recover in his lifetime.

Once released from Luxembourg prison, for a time he was a broken man.Recovering slowly, he lingered in France drunk and in fear of the British Navy, though eventually made it back to the US.He arrived at the point where Jefferson was mounting his opposition to the Federalists and took his old friend's side.It was at this point that the book began to lose me, as the author appeared to me too pro-Jefferson (as an advocate of simple grassroots democracy and freedom) and too critical of Hamilton and Adams (as supporters of aristocratic elites, as they were portrayed in Republican propaganda); thesepartisan stereotypes unfortunately go unquestioned.Alas, Paine again self-destructed by writing an article critical of GW, in a fit of pique, further damaging his reputation.He died in obscurity, with many enemies who worked to excise him from the canon of the founding fathers.

AT its best, this book evokes the extraordinarily varied historical watersheds in which Paine participated, and gives his personal take on all of them.This is useful, exciting, and truly fascinating.However, I also did not think that Paine was all that sympathetic a character and that a book devoted entirely to him verged on too much.He did some important things, was at the right place at the right time with the required talent to insert himself, but he also screwed up and was extremely bitter and often simply a difficult drunk. He made bad decisions, many of his views were questionable (i.e. on Jefferson).The author was not critical enough of him, extolling him instead as a kind of prophet idealist whose views were finally vindicated - over the last 2 centuries!

Recommended as good food for the brain.It is an enjoyable reading experience and beautifully written.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Opus ofPaine Biography, the American Enlightenmentand Emergence of New Nations
Craig Nelson has presented a dramatically trenchant detailed story of Thomas Paine, and the revolutionary spirit afoot during the late seventeenth century in America and in France justaposed to the staid constitutional British monarchy.
The author dramatically describes Paine's frenetic political literary and personal life in a manner that will engage the reader from page one to the book's end. Much historical research and detail are provided in a familiar narrative style that transports the reader to the intentions and incidences so commonly known by most readers yet with such interesting add-ins not familiar to most.
A true treasure of a book that I would recommend to any student of American history and that age.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thomas Paine: The town crier of American freedom during the Revolutionary War is well served in this biography
Thomas Paine (1737-1099) was an English born son ofa poor staymaker in Thetford. Paine was largely self-educated and well read in the classics. He saw duty in the British navy and practiced the profession of staymaker, farmer, printer and newspaper reporter. He was a Deist who was raised by a Quaker father. Paine was upwardly mobile loving his life in London where he came to associate with the likes of James Boswell, Dr. Johnson, Josephy Priestly and the intellectual elite of England's capital city.
Paine emigrated to America in 1776 where he became the protege of Benjamin Franklin. In early 1776 Paine published "Common Sense" the pamphlet which launched his fame in the New World and throughout the British Empire and World. Paine called for patriotism and support of America becoming good friends with General George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Washington read "Common Sense" to his troops the night before the Trenton battle. Paine's works were bestsellers and he became a household name. Paine's later works in the series "The American Crisis" also inspired our nation in its David vs. Goliath struggle to win freedom from Great Britain.
Following the war, Paine lived for a time in England where he was condemned to die on the gallows by the Pitt administration for his works calling for greater freedoms for Englishman. Paine fled to Revolutionary France.
In France he became a member of the National Assembly which during the reign of terror had him taken prisoner. Paine almost lost his life on the guillotine and was imprisoned for ten months in the Luxembourg prison. Due to the efforts of the American ambassador James Monroe he was freed
from captivity.
Paine returned to America where his liberal Republican Deism led to countless controversies. He died in 1809 a disillusioned patriot.
Paine said that "Tyranny like hell is not easily conquered" and countless other phrases which will live forever in America's lexicon of freedom. He was the first writer to refer to our nation as "The United States of America." We are all his heirs of freedom, justice and liberty for all.
Nelson writes in a somewhat dry and academic style. Much of the books deals with the beliefs of the Enlightment and does not spend as much time on the actual biography of Paine as this reviewer would have liked to see.
The book does allow us to remember Paine and all he achieved. It is a book worthy of your money and time. Despite his many flaws, Thomas Paine is one of our outstanding founding fathers.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Hidden Hero of the American Revolution
I had the good fortune to catch an interview of Craig Nelson on CSpan on one of the booknotes shows. The story he told of Thomas Paine was fascinating so I decided to buy the book and I am glad I did. He is the unsung hero of the American Revolution, the French Revolution and of democracy and Republics today. Few men have done more and gotten so little credit for it. How many of us know he was the one that communicated to THE WORLD the ideals of freedom and democracy to the point that his books, at a time when far fewer people where literate, sold millions of copies. They were read by everyone and read to the masses. Written in a level of language that sparked ideas and ideals in most who read or heard them. He kept Washington supplied with money by not taking any compensation or royalties for the books. He was welcome in the homes and parlors of most of the major players in the American revolution (expect John Adams' home.)

He was a hero in France and had the distinct honor to be asked to represent a district of France in the new revolutionary government. Imagine that, an Englishman turned American, representing a French state, even though he did not speak or write French??? The power of ideas and ideals. He was feted in many a French aristocrats house and was companion to many intellectuals of the time.

Yet today, few of us know anything about him because he made powerful enemies who proceeded to try to strike his memory from existance. Few people who were heros got such bad press. He died in America, yet his bones ended up being spread around the world.

What a story! Read this book to appreciate the power of Common Sense, The Age of Reason and the Age of Enlightenment. Appreciate a true American Hero, if not a world hero.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!
I loved it.It is a well written and very detailed book about one of our founding fathers.Very easy to read and I finished it pretty quickly despite its in depth and thorough account of his life.It was unbiased in reporting both the good and the bad.I highly recommend it. ... Read more

11. Common Sense and Other Writings (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 432 Pages (2005-09-01)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$3.48
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Asin: 1593082096
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Common Sense and Other Writings, by Thomas Paine, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
Though he did not emigrate from England to the American colonies until 1774, just a few months before the Revolutionary War began, Thomas Paine had an enormous impact on that war and the new nation that emerged from it. Common Sense, the instantly popular pamphlet he published in January 1776, argued that the goal of the struggle against the British should be not simply tax reform, as many were calling for, but complete independence. His rousing, radical voice was balanced by the equally independence-minded but more measured tones of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence later that year.

In later works, such as The Rights of Man, The Age of Reason, and other selections included in this volume, Paine proved himself a visionary moralist centuries ahead of his time. He believed that every human has the natural right to life’s necessities and that government’s role should be to provide for those in dire need. An impassioned opponent of all forms of slavery, he understood that no one in poverty is truly free, a lesson still to be learned by many of our leaders today.
Joyce Appleby, Professor Emerita at the University of California, Los Angeles, has followed the trajectory of American nation-building in her books Capitalism and a New Social Order: The Republican Vision of the 1790s, Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans, Thomas Jefferson, and A Restless Past: History and the American Public.
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars essential for research
Although this edition of Paine's works dates from 1993 it is worth buying simply for the introduction by Gordon Wood. The paperback version is an inexpensive way to have most of Paine's important writings at hand, including the letters on interesting subjects that are not always found in other collections.

5-0 out of 5 stars We have it in our power to make the world over again!
This was a required reading for a graduate humanities class.John Keane's biography succinctly showed that Tom Paine (1737-1809) was the consummate revolutionary and a daring adventurer.Not only was he an important figure in the American Revolution, but he also traveled to France in 1791 to give that revolution a push.Paine traveled from England, just in time to stoke the flames of the revolution with his pamphlet Common Sense, in January 1776.To call Common Sense a sensation in the colonies is actually a bit of an understatement.It was an unparallel sensation and monumental work of Enlightenment rhetoric that quickly fanned the flames of rebellion throughout the colonies.In four months, over 120,000 copies were printed in the colonies--over 500,000 copies by years end.No other pamphlet printed in seventeenth century America came close to its success.Most importantly, Common Sense served to get the colonial patriots to drop their fear of open rebellion, and also emboldened those delegates who favored declaring independence from Britain.The delegates now had the confidence that a large segment of the colonists would support rebellion.Similar to the Declaration of Independence, the philosophical ideas in Common Sense are primarily from the English philosopher, John Locke (1632-1704).The most moving quote from the pamphlet became quite prophetic, when one considers the impact it ultimately had on the delegates in the congress, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, and on the world."We have it in our power to begin the world over again."

This was required reading for a graduate course in the history of the French Revolution.For Thomas Paine, the eighteenth century was the Age of Enlightenment because for the first time humankind was throwing off the millstones of religious dogmatism and political despotism.Paine essentially believed that the rights of man encompassed, "...all the intellectual rights, or rights of the mind, and also all those rights of acting as an individual for his own comfort and happiness, which are not injurious to the natural rights of others" (Paine, 68).

Paine's Rights of Man was an eloquent yet blistering rebuttal to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France.Paine got right to the crux of the disagreement he had with Burke when he admonished him for his argument that governmental enactments of previous generations had the force and authority to bind citizens for all time.An example that Burke used was the English Parliament of 1688, which he praised as a model of the type of reform French citizens should emulate.Paine's answer was swift and cutting "Radical Enlightenment" reason."Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself, in all cases, as the ages and generations which preceded it.The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave, is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies" (41-42).Paine also took Burke to task for his narrow understanding of French socio-political and economic problems leading up to 1789.Unlike Burke, Paine understood that the French Revolution, unlike the others that took place in Europe, was not just a revolt against the king."Between the monarchy, the parliament, and the church, there was a rivalship of despotism, besides the feudal despotism operating locally, and the ministerial despotism operating everywhere" (48).Thus, what Paine witnessed, Alexis de Tocqueville and Georges Lefebvre observed, agreed with, and commented on, in their history's years later.The institutions that Burke defended in his Reflections, such as the nobility, Church, and monarchial rule, all became "fodder" for Paine's "grist mill" in his defense of France's new constitution.

Paine abhorred the institution of nobility and supported its dissolution for several reasons.
"Because the idea of hereditary legislation is as inconsistent...and absurd as an hereditary mathematician....Because it is continuing the uncivilized principle of governments founded in conquest, and the base idea of man having property over man, and governing him by personal right" (83).No friend to tradition, Paine took Burke to task for defending the notion of, "...hereditary rights, and hereditary succession, and that a Nation has not a right to form a Government for itself" (Paine, 116).Paine defended the French constitution's eradication of tithes to the Catholic Church and it "...hath abolished or renounced Toleration, and Intolerance also, hath established UNIVERSAL RIGHT OF CONSCIENCE" (85).Finally, Paine unleashed a most scathing attack against Burke's suggestion that France should reform its absolutist monarchy into a benign form of constitutional monarchy similar to what Britain enjoyed."All hereditary government is in its nature tyranny" (172)."It occasionally puts children over men, and the conceits of nonage over wisdom and experience.In short, we cannot conceive a more ridiculous figure of government, than hereditary succession" (173).

Thus, Paine's Radical Enlightenment polemic, which sold more than 200,000 copies throughout Europe, was his reasoned and articulate project towards developing a better world.Consequently, there is no doubt that Paine, whose Radical Enlightenment pen proved to be "mightier than the sword" of despotism both in the American and French Revolutions, understood the importance of the nurturing relationship that Enlightenment philosophes had on the French Revolution."But all those writings and many others had their weight; and by the different manner in which they treated the subject of government...by their moral maxims and systems of economy, readers of every class met with something to their taste" (Paine, 94).

Recommended reading for anyone interested in political philosophy, enlightenment history, and the French Revolution.
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12. Common Sense
by Thomas Paine
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$0.00
Asin: B002RKRQEY
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Influential pamphlet worth reviewing
Since I have bought my Kindle, I have been going through several of the freebies that are considered great works.I can see why this was such an influential pamphlet.Paine is very articulate and reasonable.He does not come across as a flaming fanatic, but as a voice of reason.

It was interesting to see how he used the Bible to argue that God is against kings.He also argued that it would be in England's best interest to allow America to become independent.He discussed how the separation from England must by via a declaration of independence from the legally elected representatives of the people instead of from a mob or military organization.It is obvious that the founders of our country listened to Paine and did almost everything that he recommended.

Highly recommended reading for all Americans.I love how I am able to easily access these works from my Kindle.

5-0 out of 5 stars Starts slow and builds brilliantly.
Essential reading for anyone interested in American history.Short, and very sweet.It almost put me off in the first few paragraphs of the introduction, but once past that, the little book just takes off!A must.

5-0 out of 5 stars Uncommon Sense
Common Sense is one of the greatest articles of argumentation ever written. Paine was the finest pamphleteer of his age and was able to turn the discontents of the colonists and, especially, the intellectual leaders of the revolutionary movement into arguments that were easily understood by ordinary colonials and which inspired them to rally to the cause of independence.

I first read Common Sense more than fifty years ago and remember well being impressed with Paine's ability to carry arguments and to anticipate those of his opponents before his tract even hit the street. Over the course of my lifetime, I was inspired by the author and became a pamphleteer of sorts myself. I always told my colleagues that I wanted to become a poor man's Tom Paine. But after reading the piece once again, I realize that almost all who aspire to follow in his footsteps, if not fill his shoes, are doomed to become but very poor copies of the original.

Other reviewers have noted the fluidity of his writing; it reads as simply, directly and forcefully today as it must have nearly a quarter of a millennium ago. Obviously, one did not have to be a great reader to be swayed by the force of Paine's words or to be inspired to the side of those wishing to throw off the English yoke.

I was struck by echoes of Paine in many great American speeches that were running through my mind as I read. A number of quotes from Robert F. Kennedy seemed to have been directly inspired by Common Sense, and I hastily looked them up and offer these two for your consideration:

"It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task."

"All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity."

The Declaration of Independence itself is a direct offspring of this great tract. Jefferson and the others charged with developing the document were well aware of Paine and had the opportunity to evaluate his words and to use his methods in creating our declaration, and this takes nothing away from their genius.

This is a document that can be read in short order, and it is free at the Kindle Store. How can you say no to giving it a try?

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless evaluation of the human prospective
I read this in print many years ago, and forgot much of the content.The observations are timeless, and to the point, they apply directly to our own government and world governments today. It is scary to realize how much more fluent the author and his prospective early American readers were, than I am.The written words are beautiful, and convey deeper and more colorful meaning then any of the 20th century treatises I have read.

There's much to be learned and most of it has to do with wisdom.Should be required reading for all--and all should be grateful to have it as a resource! ... Read more

13. THE ELEMENTARY COMMON SENSE OF THOMAS PAINE: An Interactive Adaptation for All Ages
by Mark Wilensky
Paperback: 192 Pages (2007-12-05)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$12.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932714367
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Few books or pamphlets have had as much influence on the course of human history as Thomas Paine's Common Sense. The Declaration of Independence severed political bonds with England, but it was Paine's dynamic pamphlet that conceptualized the idea of unity and freedom months before Thomas Jefferson put pen to parchment. Paine's publication energized a vast number of colonists to embark on a long and bloody war that imperiled their livelihoods and dismantled their cultural identity-all in the hope of creating a new nation constructed upon the concepts of liberty and independence.

Although many people know of Tom Paine and his famous Common Sense, the historic pamphlet has not been readily accessible or widely read. But it needs to be, because it is one of our nation's most important founding documents.

Fifth-grade history teacher Mark Wilensky rectifies this oversight with the publication of The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine: An Interactive Adaptation for All Ages. This remarkable interactive version is adapted for young and old alike, and makes Paine's words and the concepts he espoused widely available to everyone.

Wilensky's interactive Common Sense offers a rich array of colonial history sprinkled with audio, video, and text graphics linked to a dynamic online website. This adaptation includes the original Common Sense, a new adapted version in plain language everyone can understand today, an extensive chronology of important pre-revolutionary events leading up to the publication of Paine's pamphlet, and adapted versions of the Olive Branch Petition, A Proclamation For Suppressing Rebellion And Sedition, and the Boston Port Act. Wilensky also includes a wide variety of insights on colonial coins and mercantilism, and many humorous illustrations designed to convey the important concepts of independence and liberty.

Instructors and parents will especially appreciate Wilensky's decision to include supplementary materials such as teaching plans for classroom and home schooling use. These include a wide variety of activities to engage students, all based on National Curriculum Standards.

Colonial America was a continent with multiple cultures and customs spanning vast geographic distances. Tom Paine's amazing persuasive essay Common Sense unified these seemingly conflicting characteristics into the most remarkable nation ever founded in the history of mankind. The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine will reignite the ardor of our Founding Fathers for a new generation.


". . . a wonderfully useful modern-day adaptation for classroom educators." - HistoryTeacher.org (Society for History Education)

"Wilensky, a fifth grade teacher, really knows his stuff. He makes material that is as dry as bone fun to read, and the information on the Web site adds extra depth. . . . anyone teaching American History, either in a classroom or as a home-schooling parent, will want this book on hand." - Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

"The pamphlet that inspired a revolution. "The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine" deeply explores the historic work of Thomas Paine and elaborates on its importance for younger readers. Chapters outline the history surrounding the pre-publication and post-publication of the work. With illustrations to make Paine's points clear to young people, "The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine" is a fine introduction to Paine's legendary pamphlet, and highly recommended." - Midwest Book Review

"This book has the potential to encourage youth to become fiercely American in a way similar to that of the revolutionaries who founded this great country. This adaptation is a most readable text." - Eclectic Homeschool Association ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and insighful
I found this book to be very clear and logically written, bringing this seminal document into focus for an audience that normally gets very little exposure to it. Also, tying interactive, web-based, activities and resources into the presentation makes for a richer and more though-provoking experience for the student read. I just may pass along a copy to my son's school! [Referred by Totie Richardson]

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprising, Insightful, and perfect for the many grade levels.
[Referred by Totie Richardson]

Common Sense in itself lends to the young mind more insight into our base freedoms and inspiration as a people.

That said, THE ELEMENTARY COMMON SENSE OF THOMAS PAINE provides educators more than enough tools necessary to get the job done. More so, I've found the content complete enough that the book can be used as a reference during discussion with advanced student bodies.

Material this complete is hard to come by, and I for one am grateful that Mark spent the time to put together this book.


-Tony Hunt

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Sixth Graders Too!
I used The Elementary Common Sense at the beginning of the school year to review some of the topics the fifth graders covered at the end of last year. The information in the book and the activities in the book and on the website were a great way to repeat the information without boring my class. My students especially loved the webquest, which was challenging enough for my high kids but also fun for my lower kids. I had 35 students on laptops and they were ALL engaged! I highly recommend this book and its activities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Paine Redivivus
Although Thomas Paine's Common Sense is THE pivotal treatise leading to American independence, it has received relatively little readership outside the academic community and virtually none in elementary school classrooms. The language as well as the detailed, closely argued positions have relegated Paine's work to an 18th century pamphlet to be mentioned, but not read or studied. No longer. Wilensky's adaptation is a tour de force of scholarly and pedagogic expertise as he is both an historian of the American Revolution and an outstanding classroom teacher. It works on several levels and thus is truly accessible to readers of all ages; what might appear at times as oversimplification in fact reflects a rigorous understanding of the time and the man. Too often important historical publications are aimed at either the mature, informed reader or the elementary reader of all ages. Wilensky brilliantly bridges the extremes. Paine's assessment of the state of the colonies and their relationship with Great Britain as well as then tone of his writing are absolutely essential to understanding the coming of American independence. Thanks to Mark Wilensky, there is no reason for students and general readers not to appreciate and benefit from Paine's immortal work. There is a side benefit: Wilensky's adaptation will not only introduce students to Paine and his pamphlet, but also will help them generate a keen interest in history in general; that alone is no small achievement.As a professor who teaches and researches the history ofColonial America and the American Revolution at the University of Utah, I am mightily impressed by the quality of Wilensky's work and his contribution to the study of a critically important chapter in US history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Common Sense by Mark Wilensky
The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine by Mark Wilensky
Savas Beatie,LLC - Publisher -2008
202 pages

I was not sure how I felt about this book when it arrived on my doorstep. It was about Thomas Paine's writing of "Common Sense" which I was eager to explore and hopefully expand my understanding of Paine himself, but a whole book on the writing that would fit into modern books 30 or so pages?

What I found was an easy to understand portrait of not only the man himself but of the environment in which brought about the reasons for the writing. This book not only explores the Acts and Petitions between England and the Colonies but also the economic, social and moral aspects of times from both points of view.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the book is that it goes to great lengths to make sure you can understand the context of the writing with definitions on the same page, and it also includes tons of historical quotes by other notable characters of the time. This is meant to be an elementary book, but I would think that the grade level should be starting about fourth grade to get a good understanding of it. However Mark Wilensky has taken another step, which is rare to the aspects of historical books written for the mainstream and not educational focused publishing's and has packed this book and corresponding website withgames, audio, activities and timelines that could include almost any age or grade.

In terms of my review and the mentioning of the grades and ages that I referenced, don't be misled this book is for anyone, young or old from eight to a hundred and eight. It should be on a shelf in every classroom and on your shelf at home as well.... Why?

Because, most of us today do not know the origins of our history, our story. Have you ever just read the Declaration of Independence, Poor Richard or Common Sense? I would bet that most have not. I could go on a tangent here but I won't. I will in closing recommend this book whole heartedly; it's clean concise and easy to understand. It crosses all the generational boundaries and is very interesting read. Pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed.

Craig Anderson
Our History Project
... Read more

14. Rights of Man, Common Sense, and Other Political Writings (Oxford World's Classics)
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 544 Pages (2009-01-01)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$7.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 019953800X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Thomas Paine was the first international revolutionary. His Common Sense (1776) was the most widely read pamphlet of the American Revolution--and his Rights of Man (1791-2), the most famous defense of the French Revolution, sent out a clarion call for revolution throughout the world. Paine paid the price for his principles: he was outlawed in Britain, narrowly escaped execution in France, and was vilified as an atheist and a Jacobin on his return to America.
This new edition contains the complete texts of both Rights of Man and Common Sense, as well as six other powerfully political writings--American Crisis I, American Crisis XIII, Agrarian Justice, Letter to Jefferson, Letter Addressed to the Addressers on the Late Proclamation, and Dissertation on the First Principles of Government--all of which illustrate why Paine's ideas still resonate in the modern welfare states of today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good collection but the texts are rambly.
This volume contains all of the principal works of the great mind of Thomas Paine. Although technically not one of the Founding Fathers of the US, his thoughts on liberty and the purpose of government have influenced the world. He lived in a time when democracy was in its infancy and so much of his views are particular to the newly formed governments of the US and France. But still an interesting insight into politics. He can generally be considered a libertarian.

The most famous works in the volume are Common Sense, Rights of Man and the Letter to the Addressers of the Late Proclamation. The texts are sufficiently annotated and there's a chronology of his life. If politics are your thing and you want to read about the forming of America, this is your book - it shows Paine's politics at their finest.

One word of warning - this isn't an easy read. Paine is often wordy and rambly. Often his texts have account ledgers - which is understandable for the time they were written but today break the flow of the work. The writing is dense and his points could have been made in half the number of pages. If this doesn't deter you, you'll find an inspiring read about the rights and responsibilities of people and government towards each other. ... Read more

15. The American Crisis
by Thomas Paine
Hardcover: 172 Pages (2010-05-23)
list price: US$37.95 -- used & new: US$27.04
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Asin: 1161456368
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars What an amazing piece of literature this is!
"These are the times that try men's souls".Many Americans know these words, but few can tell you where these words were first written or by whom.Fewer still can fully describe the details and the story behind why these words were penned.Too bad, for the times that try men's souls are still here in many regards, and we would all do better to read this classic book again.

I re-read Thomas Paine's "The American Crisis" as an accompaniment to the book "To Try Men's Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom (George Washington 1)", by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen.What an amazing piece of literature this is!Knowing the details behind why Paine wrote this booklet, his second such venture following the much beloved "Common Sense", makes for an overall understanding of its impact on the American Patriots at that time of "Crisis" all the more vivid and understandable.I highly recommend reading "The American Crisis" along with "To Try Men's Souls".

5-0 out of 5 stars He who dares not offend can not be honest
Thomas Paine wrote this series of articles during the War of Independence.
He defines his purpose, in Crisis VII, as `setting forth to the one the impossibility of being conquered, and to the other the impossibility of conquering'.
There are 12 Crisis articles; oddly, though they are numbered chronologically, there is no number XII. The final one is numbered XIII; number X is not identified as such, but is called Crisis Extraordinary. The first was dated December 1776, and number XIII is from April 1783.
They can be read as running commentary on the war, with always updated views on the state of things and summaries of the history of the conflict.
The articles are signed `Common Sense' after his own seminal pamphlet from the initial period of the war. Some of them are addressed to somebody, like an open letter. The recipients are the British commander of the expedition forces, or the British `peace commission' sent to negotiate anything but independence, or the American people, or just the inhabitants of America, or the people of England...
TP sees himself as a natural interface between Britain and America, having himself only immigrated recently, not long before the war started. He assumes that the people of England have no real information about the war, being fully reliant on the official government propaganda, whereas the Americans can take sides and can draw on different sources.
Essentially, TP is full of contempt for British bullying and incompetence. His predictions for the development of the conflict prove amazingly farsighted. Even during the hard early years, when the expedition forces seemed to overwhelm the independence fighters, TP never believed in defeat. At least not in writing.
While some of the texts are outdated, a lot of them are fully alive even today. The man was a first rate propaganda talent, and he wrote on the right side of the fence.
In times of hardship: Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
He who dares not offend can not be honest. There are men who have not virtue enough to be angry.

By the way, congratulations on the 4th of July to my American friends.
... Read more

16. Thomas Paine: Common Sense and Revolutionary Pamphleteering (The Library of American Lives and Times)
by Brian McCartin
Audio CD: Pages (2009-10-20)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$12.63
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Asin: 1423394402
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Grade Level: 2-3 Age Level: 7-8 Listening Level: Grades 4-6

The Library of American Lives and Times™

Biographies For Grades 4-8 Correlated to the Curriculum

Extend the learning through this new biography series. The Library of American Lives and Times use extensive primary resources as it brings American history to life for your students.
Learn about some of the greatest players who helped in shaping America as it grew from a colony to a world super power.Through a chronological narrative, enriched with diary entries, letters, and other primary documents, students will learn about the various stages of our nation's development, as well as learning to think about history from the perspective of both individuals and society.
By learning about history from a particular and unique biographical perspective, each student will learn about the following themes that form the framework for the social studies standards:Culture; People, Places, and Environments; Individual Development and Identity; Individuals, Groups, and Institutions; Power, Authority, and Governance; Production, Distribution, and Consumption; Global Connections: Civic Ideals and Practices.
These books are comprehensive biographical treatments of important Americans, emphasizing not just their lives, but the times in which they lived.

British-born Thomas Paine came to Philadelphia in 1774. He clearly heard the colonists’ cries for liberty. They stirred his own political philosophy and ideals for freedom. He committed the powerful mixture to print with revolutionary pamphlets such as Common Sense. Paine helped set the stage for the Declaration of Independence and profoundly influenced the course of our nation’s history and ideology.

"Stunning reproduction and photos provide a clear sense of the times and settings. These attractive titles serve not only as quality report sources but also as a general interest titles." - School Library Journal
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars We have it in our power to make the world over again
This was a required reading for a graduate humanities class.John Keane's biography succinctly showed that Tom Paine (1737-1809) was the consummate revolutionary and a daring adventurer.Not only was he an important figure in the American Revolution, but he also traveled to France in 1791 to give that revolution a push.Paine traveled from England, just in time to stoke the flames of the revolution with his pamphlet Common Sense, in January 1776.To call Common Sense a sensation in the colonies is actually a bit of an understatement.It was an unparallel sensation and monumental work of Enlightenment rhetoric that quickly fanned the flames of rebellion throughout the colonies.In four months, over 120,000 copies were printed in the colonies--over 500,000 copies by years end.No other pamphlet printed in seventeenth century America came close to its success.Most importantly, Common Sense served to get the colonial patriots to drop their fear of open rebellion, and also emboldened those delegates who favored declaring independence from Britain.The delegates now had the confidence that a large segment of the colonists would support rebellion.Similar to the Declaration of Independence, the philosophical ideas in Common Sense are primarily from the English philosopher, John Locke (1632-1704).The most moving quote from the pamphlet became quite prophetic, when one considers the impact it ultimately had on the delegates in the congress, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, and on the world."We have it in our power to begin the world over again."

As a graduate student in philosophy and history, I heartily recommend this timeless classic to anyone who is interested in political philosophy, and history.

3-0 out of 5 stars Adequate Intro to Life, Thought, & Times of Thomas Paine
This slim volume is a fair introduction (or refresher) to the subject for middle-schoolers on up.

The chapter titles are as follows:

1. Courage Under Fire
2. English Born
3. Understanding the Nature of Things
4. The Adventure Begins
5. A Journeyman's Search
6. A Crisis in the Colonies
7. The Power of Revolutionary Prose
8. The Birth of American Freedom
9. Setting the World on Fire
10. A Citizen of the New World
11. Paine's Legacy

After the brief introduction and first chapter telling who Paine was and why he is important, McCartin devotes a chapter to placing Paine firmly in the societal & political context of 18th-century England. From there, he proceeds with Paine's life in a more-or-less chronological manner. We read a bit about Paine's boyhood (mostly via life in general in the town of Thetford, England), early education, and apprenticeship as a staymaker. We learn of Paine's move to London, a brief flirtation with privateering, his intense interest in science, and a growing interest in socio-political issues, leading to his becoming a community leader and labor activist.

As chapter 6 begins, it is 1774 and Paine is going through both personal and professional hardship, so he sails off to America. The narrative slows down quite a bit from here on, as McCartin spends the bulk of the remaining chapters on Paine's significant contributions to both the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Many excerpts are quoted or reproduced from Common Sense, An American Crisis, Rights of Man, Age of Reason, etc. All the while, McCartin explains and comments on the evolution of Paine's thoughts on human rights, government, & society, as well as what influenced Paine along the way and what influence Paine's work in turn had on others.

While the author ably weaves in various personal elements throughout (e.g., two marriages, various jobs, entrepreneurial endeavors, deaths of his parents), they are woefully brief and too few. I realize that Paine is a central character during this time in the history of Western civilization, and his writings still serve to inspire and be liberally quoted from today. But, even (or especially) in a brief biography such as this, I would have liked to read a few more details about the man himself. With a few less quotes from Paine's pamphlets & papers, and if a few maps/sketches/sidebars were removed (e.g., why a full page on Ben Franklin?), there would have been room for more info about his personality, youth, friendships, marriages, business activities, etc.

McCartin's writing flows quite well and is appropriate to his primary audience. I noticed no instances of awkward phrasing or redundant text, as I have in a couple other volumes in the series, and typos are practically nonexistent. Unfortunately, characteristic of this series (as well as many other short and/or youth-oriented books), there are no end/footnotes. There is a 'Timeline' of Paine's life at the end of the book, as well as a helpful Glossary. There is also a short list of 'Additional Resources', a Bibliography, and a brief index.

There are several photos and reproductions of paintings, documents, etc. (many color, others B&W), which I really appreciated. But, as indicated above, and as has been the case with other volumes I've read in the series, there are a couple pictures or side-boxes here & there that are only marginally relevant or interesting and whose space could have been better filled with more text.

Overall, a satisfactory addition to the LALT series.

Content: 3
Style & Structure: 3.75
Average: 3.38, rounded down to 3 ... Read more

17. The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete With Index to Volumes I - IV
by Thomas Paine
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-02-16)
list price: US$0.00
Asin: B0039GL1O6
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Just an index, should be deleted
The first reviewer is perfectly correct. This file was apparently sucked off Gutenberg and is merely an index with download instructions.

It probably should be deleted from the Kindle section.

1-0 out of 5 stars Just a table of contents!
Viewing this on the iPad Kindle, all I can see is the table of contents with links to ZIP files I can download to a PC ... Am i missing something here? ... Read more

18. Common Sense(American Classics Series)
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 82 Pages (2008-07-16)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1438256140
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Common Sense was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolution. Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for independence from British rule at a time when the question of independence was still undecided. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood; forgoing the philosophy and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, Paine structured Common Sense like a sermon and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people. Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as, "the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era."Amazon.com Review
"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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Common Sense Review
i am loving the condition/quality of the book: it is perfect, like new! and i am also loving the low price i had to pay for it! thanks amazon :)

5-0 out of 5 stars A 230 year old pep rally speech
What a great book and obviously Thomas Paine is not considered a "founding father" but there are few more important people than him. For a piece written so long ago, it still has such relevence for today. You owe it to yourself, if you are a history buff, to read this book and get a sense of his rallying cry. Great stuff

5-0 out of 5 stars Common Sense by Thomas Payne

I have gone throught this audiobook and found it very informative. It is hard to understand because of the language they use in that day. However, when you listen or read it several times you will soon pick up on the thoughts of the writer and the reason's why he wrote this book.
I do recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about the reason our constitution was really written, because it all started with these papers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Exactly as the title implies...
Thomas Paine's Common Sense really is rooted in common sense, even in today's political and economic environment.Paine's attacks on the English system of government makes one wonder how monarchies survived for such a long period of time in Europe and elsewhere in the world.Also, Paine takes aim at England and outlines why a long-term peace with the Mother Country would not be viable for America.Upon the acceptance of this notion by late 18th century Americans, then the only question remaining was whether the current generation would fight for independence, or whether it would "pass the sword" to its children.

Obviously, Americans chose to not leave a war for subsequent generations, but rather to seize the day and break from the tyranny of the English government.Thomas Paine played no small role in convincing and rallying Americans together to take on this monumental task.His eloquence made him an able writer, but it was his ability to attack the root cause of the conflict in "common sense" terms that appealed to farmers and merchants in America that earned Paine a unique place in American history.

I do not award Common Sense 5 stars, because if you are looking to read this book for leisure, it is quite boring and tends to drag on at several points; however, it is a must read for all Americans especially those interested in Politics and Government.

5-0 out of 5 stars Paine versus pain
Common Sense is essay writing at its finest. It's a powerful argument, beautifully written and supremely persuasive, which persuaded confused colonists to make the mental leap towards independence. It explained to Americans the nature of their predicament with prose bordering on poetry -- with often quoted lines such as "these are the times that try men's souls". It crystallized in peoples' minds the radical thought that independence was a logical and necessary step. Reading this masterful essay is terrific practice for those studying the subtle art of persuasion, rhetoric, and writing, and is first class source material for students of history. It's a wonderful example of how ideas can be a powerful force for change.

Paine was an enlightened Briton who could see what Americans couldn't: the sweep of future history, the logic of geography, the destiny of peoples. He gave Americans a look behind the shaky curtain of British imperialism. Paine's personal and professional life, however, in contrast to his excellent writing, was a confused muddle. He didn't make money from this famous pamphlet which was copied widely in the year before the war for independence. He died broke, years later, in a suburb of New York called New Rochelle, and few attended his funeral.

Read this masterful pamphlet to appreciate how Americans back then solved their problem. They read Common Sense. They figured out his thinking was RIGHT and GOOD and ACTED on this thinking, fought their Revolution, and won, and enabled a prosperous nation.

Today, for us, it's comforting thinking how Americans back then faced problems, struggled, and prevailed. These people may not have been as educated as people today, but they were thinking people who knew how to participate as citizens in a vibrant democracy by attending local meetings, debating, arguing, listening, so when Paine's pamphlet appeared, they had the common sense smarts to get the logic.

Americans today, in contrast, are basket cases politically. Americans don't participate in politics, don't know their congresspersons, don't have a meaningful sense of what citizenship should be. Americans are consumers, investors, workers, highly educated but politically out-to-lunch, enthralled by entertainment and games and video images, who think that merely voting for president every four years is all that's needed to satisfy their democratic duty. Americans are NOT real citizens.

There are reasons why this happened. Things happen. It's nobody's fault.

But there are painful consequences ahead when Americans aren't citizens. Punishment approaches in the next few decades. Unexpected weirdness. Giant public pain. Agony in flashes and massive choking spells. Don't believe me? Watch the news. We'll BE the news.

We've experienced a touch of it, with government corruption, unneeded wars, bloated spending, rampant partisanship, stupid presidents, but it's going to get worse. The punishment will come from a misunderstood force called REALITY. There are ways to dodge the coming punishment but it requires Americans to once again become thinking members who participate in a real democracy, to solve problems in a non-partisan way, to act like REAL public people like Americans did in Paine's day. I pose one way to avoid punishment in my pamphlet (below) but nobody listens. But I keep faith that people can once again learn to think.

Thomas W. Sulcer
author of Common Sense II: How to Prevent the Three Types of Terrorism (Amazon/Kindle)
free pdf if requested by email
... Read more

19. The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 110 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$10.65 -- used & new: US$9.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1458856798
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This is an OCR edition without illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text. However, purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original rare book from GeneralBooksClub.com. You can also preview excerpts from the book there. Purchasers are also entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Original Published by: J.P. Mendum in 1852 in 221 pages; Subjects: Rationalism; Philosophy / General; Philosophy / Movements / Rationalism; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (118)

5-0 out of 5 stars Please read John Shelby Spong to update
Paine was right on then in the context of his time. If we take his world view then and disregard progressive voices of our time like Spong, we are not ant different from the one track thinkers whom Paine so harshly critized. Please be well rounded and continue to explore OUR current religious world view.

5-0 out of 5 stars read and reviewed by a FORMER christian
I read this book and am reviewing it as a former christian. I left the church and the christian religion many years ago,thank goodness! I now call myself a deist and belief wise, deism is what I now see is the only true path for myself and I am just now getting around to have read the book. I would have still ended up leaving the religion anyway, whether I read the book or not,It was just basically a question of when I would eventually leave the religion. But after having read the book now, it has only more deeply confirmed for me and convinced me that I made the right decision for myself by earlier leaving the church and the religion.

I think every Christian should read this book. It should be required reading especially for fundamentalists and evangelicals. But be forewarned, this book isn't for the faint or weak of heart and not for those who don't like to have their personal Christian beliefs and faith challenged, which is exactly what this book will do. It will not only challenge your faith and your personal belief in the bible and Christianity in general, it will also quite possibly destroy it for you as well.

Thomas Paine, an idealist,a radical and a master rhetorician, was definitely a man with a self appointed mission with this book, He so completely and so totally destroys the bible and decimates and obliterates it like no one I have ever seen before. He is completely thorough in his devastation and destruction of the bible. He holds no punches.Nothing in the bible escapes his visciousness. He attacks the bible from within, using only the bible to prove the absurdities and contradictions and fallacies and falicious lies contained within it. He uses the bible as proof to disprove itself. He is relentless and ruthful in his attack and he doesn't let up for a single moment.

From the very start, he comes out swinging, in his examination of the old testament.Methodically and systemically, book by book,chapter by chapter and verse by verse, he rips out the internal guts of the bible,and he lays it out in the open,and exposes it for all to see it for what it is. He metaphorically swings the bible like an axe with deadly accuracy,precision and aim, when he is done, and the smoke and the dust cloud settles, the bible lay heaped and crumpled up,mortally wounded in the corner,just a shell of a book,all that is left of it.

Thomas Paine, makes you definitely stop and think as you read it. As you read his book, I highly suggest opening your bible and lay them side by side, and you can follow along,step by step, and virtually walk with him down the bloody path of annihlation and destruction which he will leave in his wake. It's easy to see, he was way ahead of his time when he wrote this book. He was centuries ahead in terms of thinking,when he wrote this book, and it's easy to see why alot of people in his time didn't want to accept his ideaology. I can easily imagine he made alot of enemies for himself when he wrote this. Alot of people must have absolutely hated him after he wrote it, and it's easy to see the controvercial firestorm he set off when he opened this can of worms. He was too radical for his time and people weren't ready for the book or for his particular way of thinking.People couldn't easily accept him or his book at that time.

Even though this book was first published in 1795, it almost seems as if he were writing it for our modern times. This book really speaks so much to our present modern day world and our society today and it's just as true and applicable today,as it was back in his time. Most christians probably have never ever read the bible through completely from cover to cover, while other christians mostly believe the bible only because they are told to believe it by family, and friends,associates ect.....Most American Christians don't even really know what's even in the bible

The really amazing thing about his book....It cannot be refuted. no way. not even. I don't care who it is, I don't care what kind of education or theology degree a person has, you will find what Thomas Paine says about the bible is true, check it for yourself.open your bible and read the bible along with his book,side by side and follow along with him. You will find what he says is sincere,honest and straight forward. He has no reason to lie, but unfortunately the bible as well as the church has very good reasons to lie to society and to impose this book and their beliefs on the rest of the world.

Any Pastor,Preacher,Bishop, clergyman, probably even the POPE himself would be definitely hardpressed and mentally challenged to even try to refute this book. Thomas Paine wrote this book in such a way, as for it to be virtually impossible for anyone to refute his evidence and his proofs and whoever tries to refute it, they will have their work cut out for them. This is the book your church and your Preacher or your Pastor doesn't want you to read.

I for one am so glad I bought it and read it. It has changed me,personally and deeply. I don't see how I ever really used to believe in the bible before. I believe in God, very much, of course, don't get me wrong. I believe in God, I just don't believe in the bible,or in Christianity as an organized religion and I can now begin to see how the world and how our society would be alot better off without both the Bible and organized religion.

Buy the book. Read it. face your fear and challenge your personal beliefs and faith if your strong enough and if your not afraid. Open your eyes!....see the truth!...be changed. Personally, I don't see how a person could buy this book and read it and not be a changed person by the time they are done reading it. Thomas Paine did a great service for both his society and ours when he wrote this book. This book will always be in my personal library of books. When your done reading the book, start from page 1 and read it again.

One of the best books I have ever read, and wish I would have read it alot sooner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
Thomas Paine was a brilliant thinker, pamphleteer and some say blasphemous. However, this book is by far the most thought-provoking document I've read in a while. He discusses his personal belief in deism, and refutes Christian dogma and teaches the viewer to question things, such as the concept of `mystery' and the fallacy of believing something just because others claim it to be true (revelations).He gives his opinion on major biblical/historical figures such as Moses, and the murders of innocents which occur throughout the old testament `in the name of God.'

In fact, it is just such elements which need to be questioned and have been used to brutalize the `enemy' for centuries. There are two sides to every story. Paine's writing and gift for words is expressive and thought provoking. I'm glad I read this book, and I will do so again, because it was too deep to understand in one session.

One thing to consider when reading Paine's world, is that in the world and time in which Paine lived Religion and dogmatic practice held sway over the populace. It was very different back then, and for Paine to write something like this would have him ostracized for life and would alienate many. Thus, I'm heartily convinced that Paine was also a brilliant and brave individual who wrote what he thought regardless of the consequences.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read the book don't listen to the reviews.
I have seen reviews here and elsewhere about Thomas Paine being ostricized, rejected, and living in poverty as a result of this book.They all could not be farther from truth. Paine lived in a rather nice cottage in New Rochelle, NY, its still there with his historical museumm, and several monuments throughtout town.Benjamin Franklin did not write anything in response to this book given the fact that Franklin died (1790) two years before Paine even began to write the Age of Reason (1792), not to mention Franklin himself was a deist as stated in his own autobiography. This book was the highest selling book in America in 1794, 1795, and 1807.Yes a few of our founding fathers did not like the book, and a few did. If you are curious about something you should find out for yourself, make your own decisions, or think with your own brain.Paine was a bold man who was brave enough to state what he believed in; unlike most herd minded Americans who let a Political party, a church, or their uneducated peers think for them.Read the Book, even if you disagree with it you might learn something.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity
It's 200 years since Paine's death and Christianity remains a popular religion. I was disappointed with this book as Paine states that Jesus Christ was "a virtuous and amiable man" and that he sees no reason for not believing that people like Mary, Joseph and Jesus existed. Where did Paine get his info that Jesus was virtuous and amiable? He doesn't say. He provides nothing in the way of evidence to support the notion that Jesus Christ was a real person.

At least he points out the purpose of religion: to terrify and enslave mankind. I think he wastes too much time on the absurdities of that tedious and unpleasant book, the old testament. In fact, in one footnote he admits that the old testament is "too ridiculous for criticism". So why waste so much time on it?

I found the letters to Samuel Adams at the back of the book more interesting and perhaps he could have covered some of the topics of these in his book, e.g. the act of prayer as an abomination that indicates that the person who prays is the sort of person who either distrusts God or who wishes to dictate to him.

Overall, not bad. ... Read more

20. Common Sense (Penguin Great Ideas)
by Thomas Paine
Paperback: 224 Pages (2005-09-06)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$4.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143036254
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars American Prophecy
This book was originally written as a series of pamphlets starting in 1776. It was crucial in advancing the thought and spirit of the American Revolution to the masses. I found this book to be amazing in how forward thinking the author was. Declaring "The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind". He spends the first part of the book logically explaining that Monarchy is wrong and having heirs to a throne is ridiculous. He uses the bible as part of his argument that kings and kingdoms are man made and the origin is corrupt so they should be done away with. He goes on to explain how a fair practice of representation in government could take place in the colonies after independance. He writes that America had no logical need to submit to Great Britain's dominion any longer and that after the treatment America received, she had every right to independance. Paine predicts that America would emerge as a powerful nation with its natural resources and location. He says that the pride of kings results in wars. He states that in a monarchy the King is law, in a democracy Law is king. This book is a wonderful trip into logic and reason concerning Americas independance, I enjoyed it. Thomas Paine's vision of America came true, and you can read that vision in this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting historical perspective
This little book is an easy way to get a brief glimpse of the time of the American Revolution, the way it sounded and felt to people then.

PROS: It's a primary source, more direct than a history book, yet it's short and easy to read. Of course it's an emotional propaganda piece (for the American side, against the English king) and there are many holes in Paine's arguments, but that's part of the fun of reading a primary source -- you can analyze for yourself. Also, this little edition is nicely printed with a lovely cover.

CONS: A few historical endnotes on some of the contemporary references would have been nice; this edition is purely the original text.

5-0 out of 5 stars What it means to be a "patriot."
"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind" (p. 4).

This is the incendiary political pamphlet that resulted in the United States, and should be required reading for anyone interested in what it means to be an American patriot.American Revolutionary, Thomas Paine (1737-1809), demonstrated the pen is mightier than the sword with his revolution call, COMMON SENSE (1776) which, through brilliantly-reasoned argument, demanded American independence from corrupt British rule and cronyism. Paine was a visionary, a radical, a revolutionary, and a true American patriot.(It should be noted that this review refers to the 2005 Penguin Great Ideas edition of COMMON SENSE.)

G. Merritt ... Read more

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