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Common Sense, Rights of Man, and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine
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Thomas Paine was born in England in 1737 and worked as a schoolteacher, storekeeper, and customs inspector before moving to Philadelphia in 1774. He quickly acquired a reputation as a journalist and published his hugely successful and influential pamphlet Common Sense in 1776. The Crisis, written when Paine was a soldier in the darkest days of the revolution--with its famous opening words, "These are the times that try men's souls"--called for perseverance and prevented Washington's army from disintegrating. To honor him for defending the French Revolution in Rights of Man, France made him a citizen and elected him to their constitutional convention. He died in 1809.

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"Without...Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain."--John Adams

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