Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence was drafted, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was an incendiary call for America to revolt against British rule and set up an independent republican government.
His essay, published anonymously, was the very first to speak directly to a mass audience, going through more than fifty printings within the first year of its publication.
It is credited with turning millions to the cause of America’s independence, and set out a vision of a just society in which an end to slavery and complete social equality would be upheld.
PHILIP DOSSICK is the New York Times critically acclaimed writer and director of the motion picture The P.O.W. He has written for television, including the outstanding drama, Transplant, produced by David Susskind for CBS. His most recent books include Aztecs: Epoch Of Social Revolution, Sex And Dreams, Mark Twain In Seattle, Oscar Wilde: Sodomy and Heresy, The Naked Citizen: Notes On Privacy In The Twenty-First Century, Raymond Chowder And Bob Skloot Must Die, The Deposition, Vincent Van Gogh: Madness and Magic, Lenny Bruce: The Myth of Free Speech, Ghost Dance Prophets: From Martin Luther King to Mahatma Gandhi, and Times That Try Men’s Souls: Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Paine on Slavery and Civil Disobedience.