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46 Pages

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  214 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Thomas Paine, a native of Thetford, England, arrived in America's coloines with little in the way of money, reputation, or prospects, though he did have a letter of recommendation in his pocket from Benjamin Franklin. Paine also had a passion for liberty in all its forms, and an abiding hatred of tyranny. His forceful, direct expression of those principles found voice in a ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 18th 2003 by Running Press
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Jul 14, 2012 Alan rated it it was amazing
Liell makes a strong case that Thomas Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense, was the main reason that American colonists changed their minds in January 1776 from the notion of reconciling with King George and the English parliament to breaking the ties with them and asserting independence. What was news to me was the notion that as late as winter 1775, six months after the battles of Lexington and Concord and months after George Washington had organized the Continental Army, the majority of American co ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing
An important piece of the story of the American Revolution

Sad to say, this history teacher had never read Thomas Paine's famed pamphlet Common Sense until three days ago. I came across a stand-alone printing of the book and was prepared to buy it when I found 46 Pages.

The entire text of Common Sense (originally just 46 pages long, thus the title) is added as an appendix at the end of the book. I read the original text first and then proceeded to the first part of the book which consists of a
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This slim effort, barely 100 pages longer than its subject, pegs the value of Common Sense to Paine's identification of an enemy (the King) and an objective (Independence), neither new, but as one contemporary commentator said were as stones in a field waiting for construction into the foundation. Liell also stresses the power of Paine's persuasion to the common people--"Common Sense" as a title playing on the different meanings of the word and the phrase--and its impact on the rush to Declarati ...more
Oct 08, 2007 Wendy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs
Shelves: book-club-2007
This was a very thought provoking book. I did find it to be a little bit repetetive in parts. It was only 145 pages but one that took me a while to get though, not a quick read simply because it requires you to concentrate on what is being said. Very enlightening. I am glad i read it and leared more about he importance of "common sense" and it's author in american history.
Apr 27, 2008 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Colonial period, and the work up to the American Revolution. As such, I couldn't get away from 46 Pages, which is just a brilliant book. It gave the backstory to the most influential man in the movement to Independence. A must read for any American looking to understand our own dislike and distrust of any government.
Dec 31, 2014 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biogrpahy
Having taught the American Revolution for years, I have to admit I have not read Paine's Common Sense. Unfortunately, I still haven't. I have taught about the pamphlet's impact, but only have fragmentary knowledge of the text, the arguments, or the author. I was hoping this book would fill in some of the gaps. And it does. However, I was disappointed by how this book was organized and developed. While interesting information about Paine, I had no idea he came from Quaker stock, is presented, the ...more
Christopher Hivner
May 09, 2012 Christopher Hivner rated it really liked it
46 Pages tells the story of Thomas Paine, his experiences in England, how he came to the colonies and the circumstances that led him to write Common Sense. Paine's life in England and even in America are given only a cursory look, as the book is more about the political and societal climate of the time and how it led him to begin writing against the crown. Before Common Sense, few colonists were thinking of independence. They wanted certain issues resolved, but still wanted to remain under the r ...more
Aug 01, 2008 Ed rated it liked it
"I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense . . ."
Ah for the days when a nation could be swayed...when the tide of a war could be turned...when the collective consciousness was a pamphlet. Nowadays you have the kids with their Internet and their Google and their Britney and Maroon 5 and Grateful Dead and Generation X, Generation Next, Generation Y, Generation Why?, the Obama fans, the diehard Republicans, Jack Bauer saving the world 24 times, Claire Dan
Karen Powell
Aug 14, 2015 Karen Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look into the writing of "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine: how the author's upbringing and the colonial political climate helped influence its writing, its reception both in the colonies and abroad, and its long-lasting effect on America's founding. Readers will learn how it was almost luck that the pamphlet was heralded, as many others before Paine ventured forth similar ideas but were resoundly villified. What was it about Paine and his 46 pages that hit a chord with the American ...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
I'm constantly wanting to learn more about the men who gave us Freedom. Thomas Paine was definitely an amazing, accomplished man. I'm always in awe over the things our forefathers and other supports of independence did and Thomas Paine is no different. He was the one who allowed many people to wake up and realize what was going on. He gave people the way to think for themselves and to use their common sense. It looks as if history is repeating itself and we're once again becoming a nation of sh ...more
Dec 12, 2014 Roger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In high school we learned that Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet called "Common Sense" that helped lead up to the Declaration of Independence. What an understatement. It was the greatest American bestseller in history, and created out of the people of 13 colonies that predominately wanted to reconcile with England a desire instead to become one nation. This is the story of that pamphlet, its author, and his immeasurable impact. I really can't say enough positive things about this book. But guess wha ...more
J.W. Nicklaus
Jan 21, 2009 J.W. Nicklaus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily the most in-depth treatment of Thomas Paine I've come across, yet very accessible. With a greater knowledge and appreciation for the man I now have a much deeper respect for the role Common Sense played in urging independence. It's effect is stunningly understated in any history teachings or readings I've come across. The pamphlet was a mind=boggling bestseller in its day, and it's quite possible that had Paine not written and released it at the very time he did independence may have been ...more
Dec 09, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, politics
The wonderful, and mostly unknown, story of Thomas Paine and the impact of Common Sense on the American people in the critical year of 1776. Common Sense was without doubt the spark that started the American Revolution. Aided, naturally, by Bunker Hill, Concord & Lexington, etc., BUT this is the paradigm shift in the minds of the Americans that pushed the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War in North America. Great and necessary read for every American and, sa ...more
Mar 12, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it
This is a short, concise, and easy-to-read biography on Thomas Paine and his major accomplishments to the American cause of liberty and independence. The inclusion of "Common Sense" is a bonus because the reader can see just how much, despite its unfamiliarity with many people, it foresaged the Declaration of Independence, as the author correctly asserts. Paine was definitely instrumental in promoting the patriot cause of separation from Great Britain and him being an Englishman himself made his ...more
Matthew Perry
Very interesting investigation of Common Sense and Thomas Paine. Gives a good background of Paine and the reasons for writing the pamphlet.
Jul 29, 2013 Labmom rated it did not like it
My advice is read just the 46 pages at the end, the text of the 3rd edition of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense", and skip the first 150 pages of overblown, one-sided, often untrue hyper-patriotic drivel. You won't learn anything new, at least anything you can't easily get from a simple web search. Just read Paine's classic original words, which which speak for themselves.
Jul 29, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing
An illuminating, persuasive biography of how Paine's Common Sense and Independence helped create the United States - and change human history. A powerful book that deserves to widely read - and should help restore both Paine and his radical pamphlet to the core curriculum of American history.
Vince Ciaramella
This was a great book. If you want to read about how Common Sense really shaped our nation this is the book that will tell you. It's not a biography of the author but it does talk about Paine's life in England and post American Revolution. I will reread this again down the line.
Mar 02, 2013 KellyP rated it really liked it
Thomas Paine a pirate, love it. Excellent narrative of his life and examination of his most important work. Enjoyed the historical context given by the author particularly the research into how contemporaries received Common Sense.
Jan 31, 2008 Jenifer rated it liked it
A good "lead up" to the events surrounding the Revolution. Learned lots of things I didn't know about public opinion of King George and why the colonists decided to revolt rather than compromise.
Mar 13, 2009 Dory rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I have been searching for ways to educate myself on the beginnings of our nation and this little book was a great place to start. Very interesting and informative.
Jack Schweitzer
Mar 31, 2010 Jack Schweitzer rated it liked it
It was a good quick read, but it lacks handling Common Sense from multiple perspectives. Great to know Thomas Paine's history and all, but it left out the darker and uglier side of his work
Suzanne Eisinger
Jun 29, 2013 Suzanne Eisinger rated it really liked it
Excellent background story of Thomas Paine and the events leading up to, and his background, which led to his historical work. A must read for all history nerds like me.
Sean McBride
Dec 02, 2009 Sean McBride rated it it was ok
Slightly informative and incessantly repetatitve. The best part of this book was actually having "Common Sense" and annotation at the back of the book.
Jun 23, 2010 Wendy rated it liked it
This book offers insight into the man behind America's premiere catalytic political document as well as the times & tides of Revolutionary America.
Apr 13, 2012 Jared rated it it was amazing
Great book detailing the massive effect Common Sense had on the colonies toward independence. And it has the whole pamphlet at the end.
Jul 03, 2011 Will rated it it was amazing
Excellent entre for someone interested in the roots of our government, or the foundation and ideals upon which America was built.
Nov 28, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Especially interesting because it makes you realize how big of a part Thomas Paine played in the revolution.
Aug 13, 2010 Rebekah rated it liked it
Pretty good, quick read. I learned alot about Thomas Paine. Would there be a United States without him?
Nov 08, 2009 Coyla rated it really liked it
If you love to read about the American Revolution you'll find this one extremely interesting.
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