In Philadelphia in early 1776, Thomas Paine (1737-1809) anonymously published a booklet called Common Sense. His impassioned plea for American independence and his anti-government tirade directed at King George III sold 100,000 copies within three months. Eventually, a half-million copies circulated in an America with only two million literate citizens. Paine’s clear, concise writing, intended for the masses, sacrifices no rhetorical grandeur. As contemporary Americans look back to their Founding Fathers for inspiration, Paine’s reasoned, ardent work carries even greater meaning as a historic foundation of the United States.
About the Author
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) published Common Sense anonymously in 1776. He also wrote The American Crisis, The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason.