Common Sense by Thomas Paine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I think I read portions of this in high school, and certainly, elements of it permeate much political discussion in the USA. But it was quite illuminating to get the whole at one stretch. Not all the arguments are well reasoned (and I say that in full recognition that I am not the final arbiter of good logic), but the overall thrust is powerful. I felt that his argument against remaining on the sideline, of remaining at status quo, was especially powerful, hitting one in the gut.
I think his biblical argument against hereditary monarchy ignored the Davidic kingdom and covenant, to a loss for his full argument. Then again, it is just as well as it would be, and have been, unwise to try to equate Davidic throne and continental polity. Could both subjects have been handled to his ends? Yes, but at loss of brevity.
This is certainly not dull, unless you have reduced governance to “what is in it for me”. It is of course headier than much of what is in the news today, much more idealistic than our modern sentiments tolerate.
Interesting quotes were numerous, especially in the beginning. The whole was compelling, but there were more pithy elements at outset than bulk or culmination. No fault, simply recognition of the weightiness and inability to cut pieces away without incorporating context.
I had the Audible kindle version, and the speaker was delightful to listen to.
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