• Common Sense

  • By: Thomas Paine
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,676 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Paine published Common Sense in 1776, a time when America was a hotbed of revolution. The pamphlet, which called for America's political freedom, sold more than 150,000 copies in three months. Paine not only spurred his fellow Americans to action but soon came to symbolize the spirit of the Revolution itself. His persuasive pieces, written so elegantly, spoke to the hearts and minds of all those fighting for freedom from England.

Public Domain (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“No writer has exceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style; in perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, and in simple unassuming language.” (Thomas Jefferson)

What listeners say about Common Sense

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A must for anyone interested in history

What made the experience of listening to Common Sense the most enjoyable?

It's like taking a peek into the hearts and minds of the American revolution. Profoundly interesting, even for a mildly history interested European like myself.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

It surprised me that I didn't have much trouble following the narrative even though it's in 1700s English and I'm not a native speaker.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Paine's use of religious references to underline some of his point. Surprisingly many.

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A MUST READ for every American!

Enormously popular and widely read propaganda pamphlet, published in 1776, clearly and persuasively argues for American separation from Great Britain and paves the way for the Declaration of Independence. Eloquent, persuasive and incendiary. I can see why this pamphlet was so influential. A must read for every American!

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

"In unity . . . our great strength"

You know a book is really good when people are still talking about it almost two and a half centuries later. Thomas Paine wrote and published "Common Sense" (January 9 or 10, 1776), demanding independence from Great Britain.

Paine published anonymously out of necessity. What he wrote was treason, and what he advocated then might be called terrorism today. If the colonists had lost, the Revolutionary War would have been consigned to the ignominy of an armed insurrection.

"Common Sense" was actually one of the first audio books. General George Washington had it read to the troops of his Continental Army, and inspired Americans read it to their illiterate neighbors. It's fun to imagine colonists meeting in secret to discuss the radical ideas that became the Declaration of Independence and eventually, the Constitution.

Walter Dixon's narration wasn't particularly inspired, so I'm not giving the narration high marks. But as for the book - the cornerstone of American democracy deserves a 5.

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19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Revisit (or Visit) History and Open Your Eyes

This was surprisingly easy to "read," and very interesting from this side of history. Hard to imagine even the need for this, but definite reminder of why America needed to do as she did. Glad I took the time. Do you know what Paine argued made sense for the colonists, what the argument was really about? Listen and find out.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Required Reading

Brilliant, and even more needed today than in 1776. Should be required reading for every school child, teacher, and elected official. Eventually, even journalists should read it, or at least have someone read it to them.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Everyone should read at somepoint in their lives"

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Its probably my least favorite, honestly. I'm not saying its a bad book. It's just not interesting to me. Although I personally had a hard time reading this and understanding the old english dialouge, other people may feel differently. It's just not really my forte.

Which scene was your favorite?

There aren't "scenes" in this, but the most compelling aspect for me personally, was that this was the first time in history anyone has spoken world wide to gain widespread support for indapendce. So Thomas Paine, is so famous for this peice of work because he made it available for all of the "Common People" to read and understand the injustices occuring.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Learn the History!

Where does Common Sense rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 10

What did you like best about this story?

I liked listening while on-the-go and the reminder of history.

What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ease of listening. Allows my hands to be free for workouts.

If you could give Common Sense a new subtitle, what would it be?

The knowledge of Thomas Paine

Any additional comments?

This is a keeper.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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well narrated, awesome and timeless message.

I've listened to it many times now and have marveled at the bravery and foresight of Thomas Paine. It is also well narrated and gives you the feel of a colonial era debate tournament.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

narration was not the worst but not the greatest.

the narrator nearly put me to sleep despite the fact that i was very interested in the information being provided.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A 1776 Classic

Thomas Paine was 39 years old when he wrote the pamphlet that quickly sold 500,000 copies and led to the Declaration of Independence. His reasoning -common sense- is based on his understanding of biblical truth, and there was no question that America should be founded on principles of religious freedom and freedom of speech. Paine argued that reasonable citizens’ representatives, under God, would be able to come together and make wise decisions for the good of all. Paine’s words have come painfully true. Leave out “under God” and there is no way to know truth or to agree on anything.
I’m glad I took time to re-visit this gem.

2 people found this helpful