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Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have wielded in vain John AdamsThis quote prompted me to read this book I was entirely unacquainted with Paine and this book was a tremendous introduction.Thomas Paine, born in Great Britain, was initially an unsuccessful man just like all great men It was in his later years that He found fame and recognition for his writings Paine was an ardent supporter of democracy, Human Rights and Republicanism He was severe critic of Monarchy and any form of hereditary form of politics He chiefly wrote and published propaganda pamphlets and political essays that addressed the common man and not the affluent class of citizens His unflinching criticism for Imperialist ambitions of British Government alienated him from the British Establishment and therefore, He spent most of his last years in America and France.In Common Sense 1776 , he advocated America s Independence when even the most zealous patriots were demanding limited autonomy from the colonial establishment Moreover, He did so in such charged language that it some American leaders thought it went too far As the foreword mentions Common Sense was the January heat of 1776 that balanced the July light of Thomas Jefferson s Declaration of Independence It might even be said that while Jefferson s abstract diction justified rebellion, Paine s explosive words got rebel men and muskets into the field Paine despised monarchies and desired a greater role for the multitude Society is produced by our wants, and the government by our wickedness In the first part of the Common Sense , Paine describes the basic purpose of the government as the one of protector of Human Rights and establishment of a welfare state that exercises its authority with the general consent of public.He describes all the human beings as equals, any discrimination on the basis of race, religion, caste or creed is atrocious and petrifying to the very essence of a civilized society Paine describes the only permissible distinctions as that of man and woman or of good or bad Any other, He deems superfluous and undesirable It is on this ground that He bases his vehement opposition to all forms of hereditary transfer of power and authority How can children born in the house of a King, he debates, be superior in form or intellect then a peasants child What distinction or qualification does he have apart from his royal pedigree This is not only preposterous, he says, but also monstrous and destructive practice that must be abandoned.Turing his attention towards the affairs of America, he sees it as a very dynamic economy which needs to get out of British grip if its people are to enjoy greater economic progress which is in sight He deems America mature and fit enough to have a self government A government that is established on the basis of economic, religious and political independence.In the later part he not only exclaims that the future independent continent of America will not require any King to rule over it, but also phrases his conception of a proper democratic republic as having the Law as king This is an excellent example of his political fortitude and vision The other essays that greatly interested me were The Right of Man and The Age of Reason In The Rights of Man, he contradicts Edmund Burke s opposition to French Revolutions with some excellent facts and ridicules his pro status quo rhetoric Paine fervently defends the right of people to usurp power from tyrants and throw them out of their thrones.In The Age of Reason, He describes his religious sentiments that generally detest any form of organized religion while retaining his firm belief in the existence of an Almighty One God He mocks the Christian doctrines of Holy Trinity as well as condemns the role of church in politics He also severely criticizes Islam and Judaism as completely contradictory to reasonable understanding of any average man He proposes the that believing God can be possible independent of ones belief in any particular religion or a scripture.I personally belief, that Paine was not only a tremendously successful propagandist, but also a brave political activist who desired liberation of the populace from monarchical governments and tyrannical colonialists His prose is very clear, raw and prophetic He uses metaphors and examples to prove his point He addresses the common man and it is for his eyes that he writes what he writes His narrative is fiery and scrupulous, his vision clear and his ambitions dangerous yet practical The way is mocks Burke in Rights of Man and abuses the King in Common Sense shows that he truly was a man of remarkable aptitude His firm belief in secular, democratic traditions is most outstanding, and so is his desire to emancipate humanity from the tyranny of a few. An excellent book The foundations of the American political structure and two hundred years later a call to come back to basics A call to expose how America is edging closer to ALL things that it set out NOT to be More than a voice of the past but a herald, like a prophet in the desert, saying You have strayed away from something that was so clearly laid out for you, Come back Come back NOT to a system of the wealthiest man or woman dominates the poor but one where ALL MEN AND WOMEN are equal in the eyes of the law and are allowed to seek out what it is that makes them happy and prosperous.Come back not to a time where one set of religious moralities dominates outside of said religious institutions but one where one is FREE to practice their own religion WITHOUT fear that another religious code would be made lawCome back to a time where Kings, Queens, Generals, members of a Aristocracy or Corporation did not and could not Rule over the lives of the common man and give cause and make law for doing so.When you read through you might think as I did, Things of 200 years ago are still going on today Have we made any progress Yes some here, some there, but when it comes to the basics If we knew what we were trying to get away from, trying to avoid Why then is it still here Given what I ve read of him in the introduction of this edition of his writings and elsewhere, Thomas Paine was every bit as important to the American Revolution as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson and as it turns out, fascinatingly enough, an important figure in the French Revolution The forward by Jack Fruchtman Jr claimed Paine was no philosopher, but rather a journalist, and the introduction by Sidney Hook that he was no deep thinker Interestingly enough, I found Paine s writings shelved not in the philosophy section of the bookstore, but the history section What Paine was plainly, if not a philosopher, was a rabble rouser who could still inspire venom over a century later Theodore Roosevelt called Paine that dirty little atheist Paine s pamphlet Common Sense published in July of 1776 helped spark the American Revolution Reading Common Sense what stood out to me and to a lesser extent the other writings was, despite Paine s reputation as an atheist, how often he cited The Bible in his arguments So often I ve seen the secular left versus the religious right claim the American Founding Fathers as their own If Paine and other first hand sources of the Founding Age are any indication, the truth is complicated, and they re neither atheists nor fundamentalists but people who took the existence of God and the soul for granted, while, given the religious pluralism of the colonies, making Reason with a decidedly capital R the lingua franca between them but there s certainly plenty of references to God and Providence in the works of Paine The other thing that s striking in Common Sense a note also resounded in Rights of Man is the heady optimism, of the belief in the chance for fundamental and radical change We have it in our power to begin the world over again These works are also a surprisingly lively read Even now, the words strike sparks on the page Paine is often a gifted wordsmith That s possibly never better demonstrated than in his series of articles The American Crisis, which were read to Washington s troops during the darkest hours of the war The first of the series has this famous opening 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 And Rights of Man If you want to understand the underpinnings of traditional Anglo American conservatism, many have told me to read Edmund Burke, who many contemporary conservatives still cite as a forerunner But if you want to understand the wellsprings of both libertarianism and liberalism right at the root, you couldn t get off to a better start than to read Paine s Rights of Man, which was a response to Burke s Reflections on the Revolution in France In Rights of Man Paine vigorously defended the French Revolution as well as free thinking and democracy against tradition and aristocratic privilege In showing the absurdity of monarchy and aristocracy Paine succeeded brilliantly His arguments are not all that well structured however He rambled and was often repetitive in his points OK, I get it, William the Conqueror was a thug And at times Paine s words can ring hollow because of how history has overtaken this 1791 tract So when he passionately defended the French Revolution as civilized, I immediately thought of the Reign of Terror ahead of France and that Paine himself was imprisoned and came close to being guillotined When he stated his belief that within seven years no monarchy would survive in the enlightened nations of Europe Well, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom are all still monarchies today and are hardly unenlightened by any stretch Even if practically speaking all are republics in all but name And Paine had a touching faith that republics would never go to war against each other It makes me curious about Burke The quotes Paine chose to represent Burke s arguments do make him sound ridiculous Yet I know many thinkers on the right respect Burke s arguments even today as a defense of slow organic change in political institutions over radical revolution And given the later events of the French Revolution, I suspect he might have been prescient than Paine On the other hand, I certainly was fascinated to read Paine s account of both the American and French Revolutions and how intertwined they were from someone so personally involved So above all, the reason to read Paine s works are that they are above all history first hand, the best possible source to get a sense of the spirit of an age and of two revolutions. My ignorance of American history often manages to astound even myself I know the major events and figures But can I rattle off the list of presidents Can I name famous Supreme Court cases at the drop of a hat Could I, in short, even pass a basic high school level American history test I doubt it But I m not about to start making flash cards and drilling myself anytime soon anyway, such a task would only fill my head with the same facts and dates I ve already managed to forget No if I m going to learn, I m going to learn in style And what better way to stylishly learn than by reading primary sources As a friend of mine pointed out, Thomas Paine was the ultimate American He was an immigrant, an autodidact, a populist, a democrat, and an optimist He believed that the whole world could be a democratic paradise not only did he believe it could happen, but was absolutely sure it would Paine also shared another American quality an aversion to abstract argument I do not mean to belittle the intelligence of an obviously brilliant man I just wish to point out that his writing is effective in the same way as is a ringing trumpet or a beating drum as a call to arms Paine is a master builder of compelling slogans, an expert craftsman of battle cries Although he speaks much of reason, his real target is the passions As an American who has imbibed these ideas since birth, reading Paine can seem almost breezy His every point provokes a sort of knee jerk reaction in me I nod along, and say to myself, Yes, of course yes, yes, of course In such a suggestible state, it s easy to overlook the actual dearth of argument Paine backs up his claims with appeals to common sense, and with ad hominem attacks on his opponents I doubt any skeptical reader could be convinced of Democracy s value by Paine alone but I am far from skeptical in this matter, and I suspect the same is true of most others In any case, it s hard not to admire a man who worked his way up from the very bottom to the height of literary fame whose every effort was bent on increasing general happiness and curtailing institutionalized oppression who sold thousands of copies of his works without making a cent Perhaps Thomas Paine was the ultimate American, not only insofar as he illustrated our foibles, but also as he confirmed our greatest potential. I give Rights of Man 3 1 2 stars because I have severe mixed feelings about it On one hand, I loved how much insight Paine gave on government and how much he made me think about what really occurs within our government, making it 4 stars worthy On the other hand, he seemed slightly repetitive and seemed to use circular reasoning a lot and constantly landed on the same point, making it 3 stars worthy Over all, I thought it was very insightful and very advanced thinking for the late 1700 s, but he seemed to drone on at points making it a little tedious to read Nonfiction I don t know how to review books like this one On a personal level I liked it but did struggle with some parts of it because I find that 18th century language is a little off putting for me However, I am so glad that I was forced to read this book for class.It is almost a cliche to say that this book is incredibly important to American history It is also a book that is easy to read in excerpts in other sources, so reading the whole thing was helpful and something I ve been putting off far too long.The Signet collection s introduction and footnotes are quite helpful and do unpack a lot of Paine s philosophy and contextualize it within the Enlightenment. My school curriculum only had me read Common Sense, and The Crisis But I m okay with that I think EVERY American needs to read these, at least once Thomas Paine made point after awesome point about why America needs to be free from Britain, and it was really cool to read them Sometimes I got really excited while reading it, and I am proud to be on the American side of it all I really recommend it I wish I could go back in time and tell Thomas Paine how cool he was. I reread this book every 8 to 12 years, often near elections, to remind myself that reasonable people possessing common sense existed hundreds of years ago against a sea of insanity, shortsightedness, and stubbornness Time makes converts than reason Thomas Paine, Common Sense {READ DOWNLOAD} õ Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings Ù Popular EPub, Common Sense, The Rights Of Man And Other Essential Writings Author Thomas Paine This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Common Sense, The Rights Of Man And Other Essential Writings , Essay By Thomas Paine Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You I always thought this was the original Common Sense, not the one penned by Glen Beck.