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Acclaimed historian of revolution introduces the manifesto that inspired the American Revolution, on the 200th anniversary of its author's death. Published to commemorate the bicentennial of Thomas Paine's death, these texts have remained two of the most influential arguments for liberty in political thought. "Common Sense" is a pamphlet that Paine wrote in support of American independence. Due to its original and simple style it spread like wildfire through the colonies, inspiring the American Revolution. "The Rights of Man" is Paine's passionate defense of the French Revolution that led to his trial for sedition and libel. The acclaimed historian Peter Linebaugh provides an original examination of Paine's thought and legacy.