Gordon S. Wood--winner of the Pulitzer Prize and professor of American history at Brown University--had no idea what he was getting into when he began this 653-page book. Innocently, he wanted to write a "monographic analysis of constitution-making in the Revolutionary era." Little did he know he would discover an intellectual world where a complete transformation of political thought was occurring, one that would create "a distinctly American system of politics." As Wood explains, "Beneath the variety and idiosyncrasies of American opinion there emerged a general pattern of beliefs about the social process--a set of common assumptions about history, society, and politics that connected and made significant seemingly discrete and unrelated ideas. Really for the first time I began to glimpse what late eighteenth-century Americans meant when they talked about living in an enlightened age." This original study of the American political system is a strong contribution to the scholarly studies of the events surrounding the nation's independence.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of the half dozen most important books ever written about the American Revolution.
New York Times Book Review
If ever a work of history merited the appellation 'modern classic,' this is surely one.
William and Mary Quarterly
[A] brilliant and sweeping interpretation of political culture in the Revolutionary generation.
New England Quarterly
This is an admirable, thoughtful, and penetrating study of one of the most important chapters in American history.
Wesley Frank Craven