Four of Thomas Paine's finest and most succinct works of political philosophy are collected in this superb compilation, which has Paine's original and vital tables appended. A much-respected thinker of his time, and a Founding Father of the United States, Thomas Paine wrote a number of political treatises. These discussed ideas that were potent in the climate of the eighteenth century as the United States emerged as a young nation. The works contained in this volume are as follows: Common Sense - One of Paine's most famous works, Common Sense advocates and discusses the reasons why the Thirteen Colonies would be in a better position by forming their own, independent nation. Published at first anonymously at the dawn of the American Revolution in January 1776, this eloquent document enjoyed huge circulation, and was appreciated for effectively summarizing the grievances that the colonists had with the British administration. The Crisis - Also titled 'The American Crisis', this essay by Paine discusses the many challenges and hardships that the separatists face in their violent struggle for independence. Paine published this work in a total of sixteen parts, each of which was signed 'Common Sense' in reference to his authorship of his earlier, famed essay. Each installment served to buoy fighting spirits and maintain the revolution's strength by reminding the people of the worthiness of the cause. Rights of Man (Parts I and II) - This lengthy treatise discusses the fundamental and inalienable rights of an oppressed people to revolt. Published in two parts at the time of the French revolution in 1791 and 1792, Paine mounts a spirited defense of violent overthrow during circumstances where government does not ensure the inalienable rights of its people. The book itself varies between logical arguments, emotional and rhetorical appeals, and contemporary narratives, evidencing the hurried pace at which Paine assembled his defense. The Age of Reason (Parts I, II and III) - In this three-part work, published in 1794, 1795, and 1807, Paine disparages the traditional system of the Christian church and organised religion, and the Bible as a book beyond question. It sold well and was praised by critics of the established church, but aroused great opposition from religious figures. Thomas Jefferson advised Paine to delay publication of the final part for fear of backlash; as such, it did not appear until 1807. Renowned as one of the foremost intellectuals and political theorists of the 18th century, Thomas Paine would enjoy a sizable reputation both in the fledgling United States and in Europe. His political activism, which embodied the spirit of self-determination with which Americans fought, remains much-admired by historians and individuals alike in the present day.