Tony's Reviews > The American Revolution: A History

The American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood
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Sep 06, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: history

Wood, Gordon S. THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: A History. (2002). ****. If you are looking for a rehash of the battles of the Revolution, this is not the place to look. Instead, what we get from Professor Wood is a sociological history of America from about 1760 to about 1789. This summing up of the relationship of our young country’s political thinking vs. traditional ideas of government is a fascinating account of a new mindset shaped by the circumstances of our development as a community. The actual Revolution started before the War, and involved ideas of governance and individual participation in such governance that reflected the personalities of the types of people who inhabited the New World and who they had to be in order to survive. Of course, the laws and regulations of George III had a great deal to do with bringing this individualistic thinking to a head, but it seems as if Revolution was – at some point in time – an inevitable event. The author, a Professor at Brown University, and a Pulitzer Prize winner for his book, “The Radicalism of the Americn Revolution,” manages to convey the development of this new type of thinking throughout the colonies over the years, all based on modern historical interpretation. It is still difficult for me to get my mind around the establishment of the form of government that we have today that started with the adoption of the Constitution in the late 1780s. The subsuming of the individual states’ rights into a central Fedeeral government, in retrospect, seems like a miracle – especially knowing that all men have their own agendas. The author spends a lot of time trying to explain this phenomenon and the influences that led to its happening. There is a lot of material in this short work that is an addition to the Modern Library’s, “Chronicles” series, but you won’t find a better attempt to try and make it all clear. Recommended.
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