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Common Sense (Barnes & Noble Pocket Leather Editions)

Common Sense (Barnes & Noble Pocket Leather Editions)

by Thomas Paine

Paperback(Bonded Leather)



The publication of Thomas Paine's incendiary pamphlet, Common Sense, in January of 1776, proved the tipping point for America's Revolutionary War. Its eloquent and reasoned argument about the inherent unfairness of monarchic succession, and its catalog of abuses by the English Crown against the colonies, was crucial for persuading the colonists and their leaders to take up arms against British troops. Selling as many as a half-million copies in its first year of publication, Common Sense resonated with citizens in the colonies in a way that no other tract had done before, and proved instrumental for outlining common goals and objectives for a country just coming into its sense of a national identity. This edition of Common Sense features the full text of Thomas Paine's pamphlet, a scholarly foreword, and a Chronology of Thomas Paine's Life. Common Sense is one of Barnes & Noble's Collectible Editions classics. Each volume features authoritative texts by the world's greatest authors in an elegantly designed bonded-leather binding, with distinctive gilt edging.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781435146013
Publisher: Fall River Press
Publication date: 04/11/2013
Series: Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions Series
Edition description: Bonded Leather
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 29,802
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Alan Taylor is Professor of History at the University of California at Davis. He is the author of several books, including William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Bancroft Prize for American History.

Read an Excerpt

Of the Origin and Design of Government in General. With Concise Remarks on the English Constitution

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities are heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least.

Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction
Background to the American Revolution, 1776
From staymaker to revolutionary: The life and career of Tom Paine The argument of Common Sense
Bourgeois radicalism - the ideology of Tom Paine Paine and the American bicentennial Notes to Editor's Introduction A Note on the Text Suggestions for Further Reading
Common Sense
Introduction Of the Origin and Design of Government in General Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession Thoughts on the present State of American Affairs Of the present Ability of America, with some misellaneous Reflexions Appendix To the Representatives of the Religious Society of the People called Quakers

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