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Common Sense by Thomas Paine
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Apr 28, 10

bookshelves: politics
Read in December, 2008, read count: 1

Some would disregard this work as significant only as a "period piece." No. This is a work of near-perfection in political argument: every section is mature, thoroughly considered, and argued forcefully. I found myself at the end wondering if there could be any question or disagreement with Paine.

But at the foundation of this work is a profound Rousseauvian political philosophy. Everything is considered; Paine starts from the beginning of human history and takes us to the present day, leaving no question open to objection. This is a near-impossible feat, something that is hardly ever done in our time by "political pundits."

After reading this I can see why Napoleon (I think) said that there ought to be a statue of Thomas Paine in every city.
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