Review: Common Sense, Thomas Paine

Rating: 4 out of 5

This work presents a compelling case for independence as opposed to other methods of government and treats this in the local American context of the 1770’s. In some ways a thorough summation of this treatise is “we should because we can” which, though less elegant, essentially captures the spirit of the author while his economic claims often sound silly (though one must keep in mind that economic theories in the 18th century were considerably more primitive than now).

As expected from a propaganda piece, the author does not highlight the downsides of his propositions but does all he can to minimise them. Other holes can also be opened in the numerous points Mr Paine makes but it is enough to say that for what it wants to do — propose a specific ideological goal above any other alternatives — this work succeeds very well indeed.

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