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Thomas Paines Common Sense is one of the most important and often assigned primary documents of the Revolutionary era. This edition of the pamphlet is unique in its inclusion of selections from Paines other writings from 1775 and 1776 additional essays that contextualize Common Sense and provide unusual insight on both the writer and the cause for which he wrote. The volume introduction includes coverage of Paines childhood and early adult years in England, arguing for the significance of personal experience, environment, career, and religion in understanding Paines influential political writings. The volume also includes a glossary, a chronology, 12 illustrations, a selected bibliography, and questions for consideration.