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Common Sense (Great Ideas)

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Common Sense (Great Ideas) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The radical pamphlet that helped incite the American Revolution

Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and—above all—essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues. Whether readers are encountering these classic writings for the first time, or brushing up in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, these slim volumes will serve as a powerful and illuminating resource for scholars, students, and civic-minded citizens.

Common Sense is the book that created the modern United States, as Paine's incendiary call for Americans to revolt against British rule converted millions to the cause of independence and set out a vision of a just society. Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense was a radical and impassioned call for America to free itself and set up an independent republican government. Savagely attacking hereditary kingship and aristocratic institutions, Paine urged a new beginning for his adopted country in which personal freedom and social equality would be upheld and economic and cultural progress encouraged. His pamphlet was the first to speak directly to a mass audience—it went through fifty-six editions within a year of publication—and its assertive and often caustic style embodied the democratic spirit he advocated.

Synopsis:

The writings that inspired the American Revolution—in an expanded new edition

Thomas Paines Common Sense may well be the most influential polemic in all of American history. Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence, this incendiary call for Americans to revolt against British rule converted millions to the cause of independence and set out a vision of a just society liberated from the yoke of the crown. Paines pamphlet was the first to speak directly to a mass audience—and his assertive and often caustic style embodied the democratic spirit he advocated.

This expanded edition also features Paines The American Crisis I, the first in a series of pamphlets aimed at bolstering American morale during the Revolution. An introduction by preeminent constitutional expert Richard Beeman traces Paines origins and illuminates the significance of these writings.

Synopsis:

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives—and destroyed them.

Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world.

Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was a radical and impassioned call for America to free itself from British rule and set up an independent republican government. Savagely attacking hereditary kingship and aristocratic institutions, Paine urged a new beginning for his adopted country in which personal freedom and social equality would be upheld and economic and cultural progress encouraged.  His pamphlet was the first to speak directly to a mass audience—it went through fifty-six editions within a year of publication—and its assertive and often caustic style both embodied the democratic spirit he advocated, and converted thousands of citizens to the cause of American independence.

About the Author

Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England, in 1737, the son of a staymaker. He had little schooling and worked at a number of jobs, including tax collector, a position he lost for agitating for an increase in excisemen's pay. Persuaded by Benjamin Franklin, he emigrated to America in 1774. In 1776 he began his American Crisis series of thirteen pamphlets, and also published the incalculably influential Common Sense, which established Paine not only as a truly revolutionary thinker, but as the American Revolution's fiercest political theorist. In 1787 Paine returned to Europe, where he became involved in revolutionary politics. In England his books were burned by the public hangman. Escaping to France, Paine took part in drafting the French constitution and voted against the king's execution. He was imprisoned for a year and narrowly missed execution himself. In 1802 he returned to America and lived in New York State, poor, ill and largely despised for his extremism and so-called atheism (he was in fact a deist). Thomas Paine died in 1809. His body was exhumed by William Cobbett, and the remains were taken to England for a memorial burial. Unfortunately, the remains were subsequently lost.
RICHARD BEEMAN is John Welsh Centennial Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He is editor of the Penguin Civic Classics series and the author of seven books, including The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution. He lives in Philadelphia.

Table of Contents

Common Sense Common Sense

Agrarian Justice

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143036258
Author:
Paine, Thomas
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Beeman, Richard
Subject:
General
Subject:
Political
Subject:
History
Subject:
Monarchy
Subject:
United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Democracy
Subject:
Democracy
Subject:
Political science
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series:
Penguin Civic Classics
Publication Date:
20050931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5.06 in 1 lb
Age Level:
18-17

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 18th Century
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » US History » Documents
History and Social Science » US History » Paine, Thomas
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Common Sense (Great Ideas) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 128 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143036258 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The writings that inspired the American Revolution—in an expanded new edition

Thomas Paines Common Sense may well be the most influential polemic in all of American history. Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence, this incendiary call for Americans to revolt against British rule converted millions to the cause of independence and set out a vision of a just society liberated from the yoke of the crown. Paines pamphlet was the first to speak directly to a mass audience—and his assertive and often caustic style embodied the democratic spirit he advocated.

This expanded edition also features Paines The American Crisis I, the first in a series of pamphlets aimed at bolstering American morale during the Revolution. An introduction by preeminent constitutional expert Richard Beeman traces Paines origins and illuminates the significance of these writings.

"Synopsis" by ,

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives—and destroyed them.

Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world.

Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was a radical and impassioned call for America to free itself from British rule and set up an independent republican government. Savagely attacking hereditary kingship and aristocratic institutions, Paine urged a new beginning for his adopted country in which personal freedom and social equality would be upheld and economic and cultural progress encouraged.  His pamphlet was the first to speak directly to a mass audience—it went through fifty-six editions within a year of publication—and its assertive and often caustic style both embodied the democratic spirit he advocated, and converted thousands of citizens to the cause of American independence.

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