Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Common Sense” as Want to Read:
Common Sense
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Common Sense

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  23,436 Ratings  ·  1,173 Reviews
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.

Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine’s Com
Kindle Edition, Great Ideas), 92 pages
Published March 17th 2006 by Public Domain Books (first published February 14th 1776)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Common Sense, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jeff Culler It's rather dry and some of the language is archaic. Most adults would find it a bit boring (I'm reading it right now and it isn't exactly…moreIt's rather dry and some of the language is archaic. Most adults would find it a bit boring (I'm reading it right now and it isn't exactly breathtaking prose; it's the principles that Paine lays down that are important). But kids are funny--the 11 yr old in question might be quite precocious and just lap it up. On a whole I'd say probably not but, hey, give it to him/her and find out. The worst that can happen is that you're out $7 on a book he didn't read.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Angela Blount

"Time makes more converts than reason." – Thomas Paine

And with that early quote, this reader steadily became enthralled with a founding father. I sincerely wish this novella-sized essay had been required reading while I was still in high school—or at any point in my education, for that matter.

(Okay, if I'm being honest, my teenage self wanted history explained something like this...)

But seriously... the read I thought was going to be a necessary slog turned out to be not only insightful, but
Iris P

In observance of Independence Day I decided to read something to help me widen my knowledge on the history of the American Revolution.

Common Sense is 48 page pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, but published anonymously in January 10, 1776. The document which was published right at the beginning of the American Revolution argues in favor of America's independence from Great Britain.

Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was born in England. He was a political activist, philosophe
4.5 stars. Scathing, derogatory rhetoric directed at the King of England in particular and the British in general designed to arouse the "passions" of the American colonists to embrace the idea of independence from Britian. From that standpoint, very few books in history have been as successful in achieving its goal. Almost 250 years later, this short book (better described as a long essay), still has the power to move you and make you feel the passion of the writer for his subject matter. A tru ...more
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)


*Driest desert in the world, located in South America just West of the Andes. Average of 0.6 inches (15 mm) rainfall per year. Extremely arid and lifeless. Just like this essay.
Mohammad Ali

به نظرم کتابی است خواندی به دلیل آنکه می توان امتداد تفکر پین در این رساله را در سرمایه داری بعدی آمریکا مشاهده کرد. هرچند خوشبینی های مذهبی و اقتصادی پین - مبنی بر دولت حداقلی و آزادی تجارت و ... - در عین اینکه نشانگر نیات انسان دوستانه ی پین هستند، برای ما امروزیان جای اما و اگرهای بسیار دارند

نسخه ی انگلیسی اسکن شده اما متاسفانه ناکامل این کتاب را می توانید از اینجا و نسخه ی تایپ شده ی کاملش را از اینجا بیابید

پین این رساله را در سال های 1775 و 1776 یعنی در بحبحه ی دعواها و مبارزه ها برای استقل
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-classics
Something everyone should read, study and learn to understand. This pamphlet made a new world. We need such men to stand and inspire us to do the same once again.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Revolutionaries, Anti-monarchists, not Quakers
Like most Americans, I've read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, but maybe not all of it recently, and not much of the actual writings of the founding fathers. So this Audible daily deal seemed like a good thing to add to my commute.

Thomas Paine's famous polemic is a quick and easy listen, because that's how he intended it to be - indeed, it was read throughout the colonies, in inns and taverns and meeting houses, to a population that was well-educated fo
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
من عاشق این کتابهای مانیفیست مانند هستم که نویسنده با لحنی انقلابی و بنیان گرایی شروع می کند به رجز خوانی و سازش ناپذیری

توماس پین مثل کارل مارکس (یا شاید برعکس کارل مارکس مانند توماس پین :د ) رساله ای نوشته است که این بار به جای این که کارگران دنیا را به شورش برانگیزد، مردم آمریکا را به شورش علیه پادشاهی، بریتانیا دعوت می کند، این کتاب هدیهای است برای دوستدارن پادشاهان

در این کتاب کوچک شما جسارت را مشاهده می کنید، جسارتی که منجر به انقلاب آمریکا و استقلال آن از مستعمرگی بریتانیا شد، توماس پی
Yara (The Narratologist)
I’ve been reading “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine
So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane
You want a revolution? I want a revelation!
So listen to my declaration:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident
that all men are created equal,”
And when I meet Thomas Jefferson
Imma compel him to include women in the sequel!

Yes, I did pick up this pamphlet because I am obsessed with the musical Hamilton (what can I say, I can relate to men thinking that you're intense and/or insane), and I am so
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-2009
Known to some as a precursor to the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense by Thomas Paine may actually serve as evidence of the blinding effects of fervent patriotism.

Paine masterly grasped the attention of the reader by questioning about the origin of government to stir the desire to question about the evolution of government over time--how government has, over the course of centuries, became what it is. The choice to begin the text with regards to the origin and progress from hence is als
One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion.

Unfortunate that the knee-jerk Right has appropriated this polished wit. I can't see how is reconciles with the specks of froth about emails and birth certificates. Baggage eschewed, this remains a powerful pamphlet, a catalyst for defiance. Not as convincing as J.S. Mill, but one rife with
Sep 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: politicians and journalists
Recommended to Michael by: my own ignorance
Yes, this is a piece of history and should be read by everyone interested in politics. It asks the question; "should we seek Reconciliation with England or Independence from her." Thomas Paine said it was only common sense to break with the King. It was common sense to establish a representative government and not serve a King. It was common sense to limit the terms politicians can serve, because it is best not to allow a person to get established as a career politician, as he would then serve h ...more
Jean Poulos
I read this essay in school many years ago; I have read several books recently that have referred the Pane’s “Common Sense”. So, I thought I would re-read and refresh my memory about the book.

“Common Sense” was published in 1776 and challenged the authority of the British government and monarchy. It was written in plain language for the common person to easily read. It was the first published works to openly ask for independence from Great Britain. Pane says that government’s sole purpose is to
"instead of gazing at each other with suspicious or doubtful curiousity, let each of us, hold out to his neighbor the hearty hand of friendship, and unite in drawing a line, which, like an act of oblivion shall bury in forgetfulness every former dissention."

Had an odd craving for some Thomas Paine and I'm really glad I went with it. Common Sense is at once philosophical, burning with passion, and insanely quotable. Definitely interesting to read in 2017.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Paine’s book, Common Sense, sparked revolutionary thoughts and supported revolutionary ideas for the colonists in America in the late 1700s. Paine’s idea was to get the masses of people to revolt against British rule and he outlined reasons why this would be the best course to take. Common Sense really helped to promote revolutionary thoughts and was a great influence to many of the colonial people because he wrote it in a language that everyone could understand and relate to. He focused ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history
Published Valentine's Day, 1776 ! The one essay in Revolutionary America plumbing subjects as vast as Jewish history, moral laziness, and naval ship data. Theorizes that monarchies were born when ancient man wooed the group bully with gifts. Lucid, sarcastic... and a national treasure.

Phenomenal quotes:

“Time makes more converts than reason.”

“Were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other law-giver.”

“Nothing but heaven is impregnab
Najla Hammad
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
توماس باين مفكر إنجليزي ثار على وطنه وفر إلى أمريكا حيث اشترك في الثورة الأمريكية، في هذا الكتاب (المنطق السليم) ينتقد الملكية البريطانية وكيف أن المُلك خطيئة تُعادي صفة سماوية، وأنها اختراع يهودي “لا بل يكون علينا ملك..” استحقوا لعنة بسببها “الرب يتسلط عليكم”. ثم شجّع استقلال أمريكا عن بريطانيا، وكان لكتابه هذه بالغ الأثر مع قيام الثورة الأمريكية في إعلان الإستقلال.

العجيب -وهكذا لكل زمان دولة ورجال- أنه كتب “بريطانيا تملك أسطولاً بحرياً ضخماَ.. وأما أمريكا ليس لديها أسطول لكنها تستطيع امتلاك أس
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I'm very sure that I would have liked this a lot more if I had been alive and able to read in 1776 in the heat of a revolution, instead of reading it in 2014 as a summer assignment that I'm required to do for school.
I have so much respect for the founding fathers and everyone alive during that time, but that doesn't mean that I enjoy reading about it. I respect what they did and am very grateful, but summer work sucks and I am not extraordinarily interested in politics.
The historical significance of Common Sense alone argues for a 5 star rating. Highly readable, this book references natural law, legal theory, historical examples, and Old Testament precedent. It makes for an enjoyable read and provides insight into what fired up our Founding Fathers.
Sadia Shahid

In this sensational essay, Thomas Paine elucidates democracy/republic, with its flaws, is exceptionally better than a monarch or any other singular form of authority in power. It was a pamphlet then, now, a book, because of the significant role it played during the American Revolution.

The introduction perfectly summed up our society's reaction to everything. "A long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and r
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
In my self-directed study of the "Great Books of the Western World" I somehow managed to go right past this one and read "The Federalist". I considered just skipping "Common Sense" but it is such a slim volume that I couldn't really justify neglecting it. I'm glad I doubled back for it. If only everyone from this era had written as concisely and convincingly as Thomas Paine. I am interested in further reading of his work. Especially those addressing his views on religion and slavery for which it ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Rawa'a Alsayegh
Interesting. That's what I have to say.
Miles Smith
So many things to say about Paine. Very few positive.
Kirtida Gautam
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yin-yang
"When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember, that virtue is not hereditary. "
Common sense is not that common.
After 250 years of its first publication Common Sense is still one of the most relevant books to understand nature of oppression and exploitation. It still appeals to the mind of a person/ society/ colony seeking freedom from its oppressor.
I'm a little bit of a fan of the musical Hamilton. In one song, the future sister-in-law of Alexander Hamilton sings, "I've been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine, so men say that I'm intense or I'm insane." That particular line gets stuck in my head a lot and I finally thought - I should read the dang thing myself!!

Common Sense is a "pamphlet" that Thomas Paine wrote in an attempt to justify and defend the cause of independence from England. His thoughtful, logical arguments approach the pro
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Common Sense is a strongly worded call for independence of the American Colonies. Paine demonstrates through logical reasoning and factual evidence that America can and must govern itself. The King of England, he maintains is nothing less than a tyrant interested only in the resources and riches of the land. Paine demands equality but asserts that it can never come from England and, therefore, disassociation and independence are the only alternatives. He criticizes the tradition of the monarchy ...more
Walter Cholewczynski
A fast paced rant against the king. Paine writes like he was speaking in front of as audience of like-minded rebels. He does not have a single focus in his tirade - jumping from one point to another within s paragraph. Though, altogether, he does have a single focus: the American colonies can no longer live under the tyranny of a king far across the ocean.

All patriots must read this pamphlet that is barely over fifty pages! A signature piece of American history.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب مبسط وصغير بأفكار كبيرة ومستحقة!.
نشر في سنة ١٧٧٦ قبل عامين من إعلان استقلال الولايات المتحدة وقد لاقى الشهرة والقبول على مدى هذه القرون، وجه حديثه لسكان المستعمرات البريطانية وحاجتهم للإستقلال عنها، كما هاجم فكرة الملكية الوراثية، وشرح في الفصل الأخير الحالة الأمريكية آنذاك.

* رابط تحميل الكتاب بترجمة محمد الجندي ومراجعة حسام محمود
أميرة هاني
On second thought, I'm giving this book one star instead of two. It's not a bad book/long essay; Paine has some very well constructed arguments. He must have been well ahead of his time. I just couldn’t stomach the hypocrisy of all the preaching on justice and Christian kindness along with the derogatory comments about "Indians", "Negroes" and "Mohamet". Thomas Paine, hast thou no shame?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Highlights 1 6 May 26, 2017 08:58AM  
Old Books, New Re...: 2015 March Book- Common Sense 12 59 Jan 02, 2017 06:12PM  
What should every American read? 4 45 Dec 31, 2014 04:14PM  
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Christians and the Fall of Rome (Great Ideas)
  • Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
  • The Constitution of the United States of America
  • The Inner Life
  • The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865
  • Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration
  • The Federalist Papers
  • The Real Benjamin Franklin (Vol. 2 of the American Classic Series)
  • Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations
  • On the Pleasure of Hating
  • Of Empire
  • The Autobiography and Other Writings
  • On Liberty
  • The Gettysburg Address
  • The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
  • On Friendship
  • Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism
Thomas Paine 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 corset maker by trade, a journalist ...more
More about Thomas Paine...
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.” 271 likes
“Time makes more converts than reason.” 102 likes
More quotes…