So you say you want a revolution? Common Sense is a "must read" for every American, and anyone, anywhere, who is interested in the roots and reasons of the incredible American Revolution. There is simply no modern pundit who even comes close to inciting the kind of world change that Thomas Paine produced with this little book. First published anonymously on January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine's incendiary pamphlet became an immediate success and, proportionally to population, had the largest sale and circulation of any book in American history. Common Sense presented the American colonists with a powerful argument for independence from British rule at a time when the question of independence was still undecided. Written and reasoned in a style that anyone can understand, Common Sense also gave an account of America's readiness for independence and an outline of how a future American government might be structured.
"These are the times that try men's souls," begins Thomas Paine's first Crisis paper, the impassioned pamphlet that helped ignite the American Revolution. Published in Philadelphia in January of 1776, Common Sense sold 150,000 copies almost immediately. A powerful piece of propaganda, it attacked the idea of a hereditary monarchy, dismissed the chance for reconciliation with England, and outlined the economic benefits of independence while espousing equality of rights among citizens. Paine fanned a flame that was already burning, but many historians argue that his work unified dissenting voices and persuaded patriots that the American Revolution was not only necessary, but an epochal step in world history.