Friday, December 26, 2008

The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine

As of late, Thomas Paine has become the center of some controversy within some of the post/groups to which I belong.

Regardless of how many times I notice that people speak before they understand, offer opinions based on hear-say rather than facts, it still amazes me. The writings of Thomas Paine are not for the primary reader. There is also a need to place the man and his writings in place and time.

Thomas Paine had a great faith in the goodness of humanity despite the treatment he received from friends after the publications of his works.

Priviledged as I am from time to time to come across a book that not only is enjoyable to read but also filled with information, I am pleased to review "The elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine.

The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine: an interactive adaptation for all ages by Mark Wilensky is a delightfully thorough examination of writer and revolutionary through his works interpreted to context.

The American Rebellion was a unique occurrence in the history of human kind. The stage was set with the ingredients of independence along with the force of ingenuity and resources that encouraged a brand of men in a new land without the bonds of economic or governmental oppressive control that allows for a brief moment the shining light of liberty and freedom.

Thomas Paine was a exceptional man who when finding himself alone after his wife and child died, set out for a new life leaving England behind and the New World ahead. In the New World, he reasoned that men so far from the benefits of Old World Society must seek to govern themselves using the resources given them in the new land for a new country, rather than supporting the old monarchy with its whims of personality dictated by a personage. Paine didn’t view monarchs as having the blessings of God but rather were rather the feeble yet powerful descendents of bullies and thieves.

Wilensky updates the language to today’s linguistic cadence and explains the unavoidable arcane words which Paine specific chose in his philosophical manifestos. It is a most readable text.

You may wish to read from this book to a class or workshop, or read along with your child as you explore the Revolutionary Times and the great men who set our country free from an unjust and oppressive government that taxed the people beyond justification and sought to invade their privacy and control their lives. Paine’s arguments are set out so logically even the British understood the American cause was just.

The second half of the book provides fun exercises to reinforce the lessons and play with the types of cartoon propaganda used in the 18th Century to persuade the general population to a particular opinion. This book has the potential to encourage youth to become fiercely American in a way similar to that of the Revolutionaries that founded this great country.

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