Empire of Liberty (Oxford History of the United States)
The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early...more
Wood is very enjoyable in bite-size portions. I have learned a lot about one of the most critical (if not THE most critica ...more
Wood surveys the history of the U. S. from the adoption of the Constitution through the close of the War of 1812, a time during which the survival of the new nation was by no means a sure thing. As he describes, this was a time of enormous political, social, cultural and economic change, and it's safe to say that things did not turn out the way that many of the Found ...more
It's hard to beat Oxford University Press when it comes to authoritative yet lively looks at highly detailed periods in history; and here's their latest in their modern series about the history of America, written by former Pulitzer winner Gordon S. Wood and in this case covering just the years 1789 (when ...more
After reading biographies of the first five presidents, this volume in the Oxford History of the US helped tie up the loose ends for me. Wood spent a lot of time dissecting the class distinctions of early America. His descriptions of the Federalist and Republican parties were helpful to understand the emergence of political parties in America. Chapters on slavery ( ...more
I went to a round-table discussion recently where ten judges and ten lawyers (I am one of the latter) met with Gordon Wood. Wood was down-to-earth and funny.
A judge asked Wood how he was able to accomplish writing such a prodigious book. It seemed impossible to do.
Wood's modest response. "Actually i ...more
The book begins with George Washington contemplating the Presidency and how the states contemplated giving up true Independence for interdependency; how being a state subject to a Federal Government chaffed them. As the story un ...more
* If someone says they want to return to the ways of the founding fathers, ask which one(s).
* Most complaints people make about government and politics today were being made more or less from the time the Articles of Confederation took effect.
* Many of the complaints about social groups were being made too, especially those about an educated elite, businessmen, and ordinary folks who insists on a seat at th ...more
As I continue my march through the ages in which I explore all the historical eras of the United States of America, my journey takes me to the beginning of our modern government. Since I finished Robert Middlekauff's The Glorious ...more
But as I have replied, it is more by design than any difficulty with the material. This is the kind of broad sweeping history that requires thought and not a sharply focused biography of one person put into context.
This IS the context into which future biographies will be put.
All too often, as I recall it, American history is broken up into which war was fought when, and what happened in between them.
Although this book ...more
Anyway, Gordon Wood's magnificent history of post revolutiona ...more
The author paints a positive portrait of a new nation built on the foundations of democracy in contrast to the vigorous monarchies of that period with good prose and an abundance of detail which serve to immerse the reader in the lives of both famous and ordinary Americans in the early r ...more
At the outset of his history of the United States between 1789 - 1815, Professor Gordon Wood aptly describes his subject as "Rip Van Winkle's America". Van Winkle, of course, was the subject of a story by Washington Irving. Rip goes to sleep in his small village prior to the American Revolution and wakes up 20 years later to find a vastly changed United States, larger in size, disputatious, commercial, and substantially more democratic than had been the case when Rip bega ...more
Surprise surprise things were a little more sketchy, and the future of this country was anything but assured, even with a pretty good Constitution at the Founding Fathers' disposal. Take the time to get through ...more
Our constitution was rat ...more