A central figure in Western history and American political thought, Thomas Paine continues to provoke debate among politicians, activists, and scholars. People of all ideological stripes are inspired by his trenchant defense of the rights and good sense of ordinary individuals, and his penetrating critiques of arbitrary power.
This volume contains Paine’s explosive Common Sense in its entirety, including the oft-ignored Appendix, as well as selections from his other major writings: The American Crisis, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason. It also contains several of Paine’s shorter essays. All the documents have been transcribed directly from the originals, making this edition the most reliable one available. Essays by Ian Shapiro, Jonathan Clark, Jane Calvert, and Eileen Hunt Botting bring Paine into sharp focus, illuminating his place in the tumultuous decades surrounding the American and French Revolutions and his larger historical legacy.