Common Sense was a series of pamphlets written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolution. Paine wrote it with editorial feedback from Benjamin Rush, who came up with the title. The document denounced British rule and, through its immense popularity, contributed to stimulating the American Revolution. The second edition was published soon thereafter. A third edition, with an accounting of the worth of the British navy, an expanded appendix, and a response to criticism by the Quakers, was published on February 14, 1776.
Paine donated the copyright for Common Sense to the states, and as one biographer noted, Paine made nothing from the estimated 150,000 to 600,000 copies that were eventually printed (various sources disagree on the number of printed copies in Paine's lifetime). In fact, he had to pay for the first printing himself. (Quote from wikipedia.org)
About the Author
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)
Thomas Paine... was a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, liberal and intellectual. Born in Great Britain, he lived in America, having migrated to the American colonies just in time to take part in the American Revolution, mainly as the author of the powerful, widely read pamphlet, Common Sense (1776), advocating independence for the American Colonies from the Kingdom of Great Britain and of The American Crisis, supporting the Revolution.
Later, Paine was a great influence on the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791) as a guide to the ideas of the Enlightenment. Despite an inability to speak French, he was elected to the French National Assembly in 1792. Regarded as an ally of the Girondists, he was seen with increasing disfavour by the Montagnards and in particular by Robespi
"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.