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Paine: Collected Writings: Common Sense/The Crisis/Rights of Man/The Age of Reason/Pamphlets/Articles & Letters (Library of America #76)

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,027 ratings  ·  35 reviews
“I know not whether any man in the world,” wrote John Adams in 1805, “has had more influence on its inhabitants or affairs for the last thirty years than Tom Paine.” The impassioned democratic voice of the Age of Revolution, Paine wrote for his mass audience with vigor, clarity, and “common sense.” This Library of America volume is the first major new edition of his work i ...more
cloth, 906 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Library of America (first published January 1st 1925)
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Cwn_annwn_13
I picked this up from the library because I have been wanting to read The Age of Reason. It gets 5 stars just for Paines brilliant dismantling of Christianity and the Bible. I don't see how even the most foaming at the mouth Christian could read Age of Reason and not consider the Bible at best a horribly flawed and contradictory historical document.

You'd also have to give this 5 stars for his other well known and not so well known writings in this, even though some of them are quite boring to b
...more
Anthony D Buckley
I read Rights of Man in my first year as an undergraduate, and most of the others at a later date. Paine's writing both benefits and suffers from the fact that he drank huge quantities of brandy before putting quill to paper. He is scarcely a great philosopher, but an old libertarian socialist like me would be hard put not to love him. He nearly brought democracy to England a hundred or more years before it actually arrived. The great appeal of Rights of Man came from arguing (and apparently pro ...more
S.D.
Of the writings in this volume, I read Common Sense and The Crisis long ago (long enough to have forgotten they were assigned or voluntary reads), and have yet to read The Rights of Man, or the additional ephemera. That leaves the Age of Reason for me to address here - it alone earns this collection five stars. Essentially a rational defense of Deism against institutionalized religion, it is also a brilliant critique of the hypocrisy inherent in staking any “evidence” of faith on the written wor ...more
Brett Ellingson
Read this book with an open mind and Paine just might surprise you. My perception of what the man Thomas Paine was about changed drastically (and for the better). I gained a huge respect for him; he is far too good a man to be left to the likes of Glenn Beck. I put him in a similar place as someone like Orwell: an eloquent defender of justice, dedicated to seeing the world how it is, and honest enough to defend his ideas, even when doing so was damaging to his career prospects and personal relat ...more
Jihad Lahham
a must read. while some of the social issues Mr. Paine talked about are fairy outdated now, the rest of his writings are a must read. the level of common sense and scientific inquiry exhibited in his writings pave a path for all free thinkers and intellectuals of all ages and places to follow.
Todd
The Age of Reason: Paine is a deep and clear thinking man who is also articulate. The Age of Reason is well worth reading, whether seeking inspiration because one agrees with his position, or as a stone on which to sharpen one's own edge if not. Because Paine is so thoughtful and also such a good communicator, it makes the omissions and fallacies in his work all that much more glaring.

He declares, for instance, Christianity to be false because the Jews did not believe it. He omits the fact that
...more
Robert
Aug 24, 2011 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Robert by: Christopher Hitchens
Had to take it back to the library as I was starting Age Of Reason due to the SF fire project. Just great so far except I do not accept even deism personally. But his idea of deism does not admit any role for religion in public political life or the administration of a state. He rejects all the man-made earthly church establishments (and that is ALL of them, as the are all MAN-MADE) of all the world's religions. He believes in a supreme being and hopes for a life beyond this one. No specifics on ...more
Jake
I haven’t delved deeply into Thomas Paine’s writings. I mainly purchased this for The American Crisis and The Age of Reason. But I’m a fan of the publisher. Library of America puts together visually appealing, well-edited compilations. I doubt they are always the best editions, but they are consistently good. I also own three of their Willa Cather volumes and one of Mark Twain.

As far as Thomas Paine goes, he is a lesser known (and lesser liked) founding father. Among his faults are not getting
...more
Cormacjosh
Very long, 800 + pages, and admittedly dry at times, but still powerful and important. Highly recommended for young people, especially those leaning towards socialism or communism. The Age of Reason had a profound effect on my life and my views of religion and the afterlife. The 18th c. enlightenment movement always has and continues to have a profound effect on my life.
Mark
Reading Thomas Paine has become more important in this era of nationalistic fervor, bipartisan politics, and sophistic rhetoric. Paine cuts through this. An important fact about Thomas Paine, would be that he was thrown out of his own country for being patriotic, rather than nationalistic.

This edition presents Paine's writing thoroughly. With so much of his writing, and the nature of the texts, so much in one edition sometimes seems overwhelming. But, it is good to remember that one can put the
...more
Ellis Morning
Thomas Paine's intellect and skill at persuasive writing should be studied far and wide. It's a shame we only read excerpts of "Common Sense" in school.
Dan Rundquist
Outstanding. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. I had not read Paine since high school and like many, had forgotten the importance of his role in the American Revolution. His brave, dry, wit escaped me when I was younger and can be appreciated now.

This volume in my opinion, is a fine collection of Paine's work, presented beautifully in a high quality book. If you would enjoy reading a solid, logical argument,(Paine is difficult to refute) or want to read one who poked fun at the enem
...more
Sherri
Jan 22, 2012 Sherri rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every American
If you want to know the intent of our founding fathers, read what they had to say! Thomas Paine's writings are an important part of what they thought and said at the time. Government was not meant to be small, nor were social programs and obligations excluded from the Constitution. The proper care of the elderly and orphans were specifically talked about in Paine's works. So were payments to those who were not land owners and a social security like program.
Phil Smith
If you are an American, you need to read this critical work. If you are not an American, you need to read this critical work. One of the finest pieces of political prose ever conceived is captured by Paine in less than 100 pages.
Joe
Washington's sword was nothing without Paine's pen. Paine was a true Apostle of Freedom. He spent his whole life fighting for freedom and against tyranny. This is a great collection of his writings.
Mark
A firey spirit whos works flames the passions of the American REvolution. A true patriot with an undying quest for freedom. His spirit writings still excite my blood. A true America hero.
Tinkalanashai
The language was difficult for me but his ideologies and concepts set a precedent at the time and they are a valuable lesson in history. It's been so long I need to read it again.
Craig J.
"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 (1995)"
Rick
for historical american figures, Thomas Paine (and his work) is in the top 3 of all time- next to John Wesley Powell and a third that is yet to be determined
Jeanne
Mar 28, 2008 Jeanne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
The antidote for all those who think America was founded exclusively by Christians. This should be required reading in all U.S. schools.
Melanie
I psychotically love Thomas Paine's ideas and writing style. Also, he's not that terrible-looking for a colonist.
Carrie
This is the first source that made me think I wanted to study early American history.
Colin
Excellent collection. The Age of Reason is an amazing piece of writing!
Phil
If you're a U.S. citizen and you know how to read, this is required reading.
Erika
Aug 24, 2009 Erika marked it as to-read
Shelves: on-hold
Read Common Sense and Rights of Man. Yet to read Age of Reason.
blake
Makes up with brilliance for what he lacks in modesty and maturity.
Tim
Some good, some mediocre, some unexpected philosophy
Nicholas Dragon
I needed a reminder of what America used to mean.
Magesh Bala
Jul 19, 2007 Magesh Bala rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all
Nothing better. Simply the best. My kind of english.
Eric
I just reread almost all of Paine. Fantastic.
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Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 – June 8, 1809) was an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called "a c ...more
More about Thomas Paine...
Common Sense Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine Common Sense and Other Writings Rights of Man The Age of Reason

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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 everything its value.” 63 likes
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