The Crisis

ISBN: 014600101X
ISBN 13: 9780146001017
By: Thomas Paine

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American History Classics Currently Reading History Non Fiction Philosophy Political Politics To Read War

Reader's Thoughts

Kenn Anderson

Everyone should read this. It is the history of our country after all.

Kurt Brown

Epic. I could almost feel what it was like living in Colonial America while the Independence-debate was taking place. Really inspiring.


Well let me put it this way. Read the Crisis I.Then skip the rest unless you are a true scholar of history. It is interesting especially to read in conjunction with a study of the American Revolution,but I wouldn't suggest it for a good bedtime story.Unless you're having trouble going to sleep.


A couple years ago I started a new tradition for myself. Every year on July 4th, I dust off my Thomas Paine book and read The American Crisis. For students of the American Revolution, this stirring tract is essential reading. It begins with those words, “These are the times that try men’s souls…” In my opinion an even more powerful line occurs later in the work when Mr. Paine says, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so my children may have peace.” On my reading this year, I was struck by the wrath that Mr. Paine wanted to call down on both British and British sympathizers. A historian I saw on The History Channel indicated Mr. Paine is rightfully a founding father, but has a lower historical status because he was too extreme. Truly, he was a polemic writer, but a damn good one who helped galvanize support behind Gen. George Washington at a critical time. Though portions of this piece detailing specific battlefield engagements may be unfamiliar, and therefore less meaningful today, the bulk of the work resonates powerfully today. Thomas Paine, on his literary merit, is rightfully a founding father.


If you want insight into the American War for Independence this is a must read. Paine's writing gives a firsthand look at the struggle for independence and gives a clear image of the social and political attitudes and issues of the time.

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