First published anonymously in January 1776, Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense became a colonial bestseller. In a would-be nation of 4 million, some 150,000 copies were sold. That’s the equivalent of selling 12 million copies in today’s United States. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history. As of 2006, it remains the all-time best-selling American title and is still in print today.