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Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (Oxford History of the United States) Reprint Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 447 ratings

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Editorial Reviews Review

Take a Look Inside the Empire of Liberty [Click on Images to Enlarge]
George Washington (1732–1799)
: This portrait painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1797 was the one rescued by Dolley Madison in 1814 when the British burned the White House.
(Library of Congress)

Lyon-Griswold Brawl (1798)
: Outraged by this brawl on the floor of the House of Representatives, many concluded that Congress had become contemptible in the eyes of all “polite or genteel” societies. (Library of Congress)
Washington, D.C. in 1801
: The nation’s capital remained for years primitive and desolate, with muddy streets, a swampy climate, and unfinished government buildings that stood like Greek temples in a deserted ancient city. (Library of Congress)
Capture of the City of Washington
: In 1814 the British army set fire to many public buildings here. Although this was considered a violation of the laws of war, they were probably retaliating for the Americans’ burning of buildings in the Canadian capital, York (Toronto). (Library of Congress)
: The name “Shakers” was originally pejorative, mocking the religious group’s rituals of trembling, dancing, and shaking. Their commitment to celibacy kept a rigid separation of the sexes, even in dancing, as this illustration shows. (Library of Congress)


A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History

A New York Times Bestseller

"Told with enormous insight ... On every page of this book, Wood's subtlety and erudition show. Grand in scope and a landmark achievement of scholarship,
Empire of Liberty is a tour de force, the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant thinking and writing."--The New York Times Book Review

Empire of Liberty will rightly take its place among the authoritative volumes in this important and influential series."--The Washington Post

"In illuminating the theoretical underpinnings of the long 1960s era, Wood provides an excellent contribution to present understandings of how late twentieth century convictions fundamentally emerged to shape our modern world." --
UCLA Historical Review

"A bold, intelligent, and thoroughly engaging interpretation of the period from the birth of the republic to the emergence of a mass democratic society in the early part of the 19th century... Gordon Wood has written an immensely important book that deserves a wide readership among scholars and anyone interested in American history. The book will certainly influence how future historians write about the triumphs and tragedies of the early republic."--
The Providence Journal-Bulletin

"Deftly written and lucidly argued, it teems with insights and arguments that make us look at familiar topics in fresh ways.--
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Wood's contribution will stand both as an extraordinary achievement of historical synthesis, and as witness to its own time. It will not soon be surpassed"--
The Weekly Standard

Selected as one of 'The Top 25 Books of 2009'--
The Atlantic

Selected as one of 'The Most Notable Books of 2009'--
The New York Times Book Review

"This work by the dean of Federalist scholars, and the newest title in the splendid Oxford History of the United States, has been widely hailed as the definitive history of the era."--
American Heritage Magazine

"Gordon S. Wood's penetrating histor of the early American Republic, is one of the best and certainly most rewarding books of the year. It is a winter's read for the serious general reader who may read only one book in a lifetime of this period. This is that book."--
The Dallas Morning News

"Wood's erudition is legendary, and in this authoritative history of the early United States, he has produced a classic. Deftly written and lucidly argues, it teems with insights that coax us to see the nation's beginnings in a new way."
Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Wood has traced the main political stories of the new American nation with...commanding skill and...interpretive wisdom." --
Christianity Today

"Magisterial...Gordon Wood is...equally adept at the large canvas and thumbnail sketch."--
The National Interest

"Wood's grasp on the story is sure, his narration often thrilling, which are the two elements of excellent history."--
Catholic Library World

"Wood has provided a readable, engaging, and incisive account of the sociopolitical history of the first decades of the American nation." --
Maryland Historical Magazine

"[Wood's] exuberant panorama of a dynamic nation in the midst of dramatic change is informed by his immense scholarship and deep insights not only into the meaning of the American Revolution but also into American character, values, myths, leadership, and institutions." --Susan Dunn,
New York Review of Books

"Wood's prose is filled with gems of wit and wisdom that make reading this large tome a delight...Empire of an articulate, deeply researched, reasoned account of the emergence of the young republic from independence to nationhood; from an Atlantic-focused intellectual and commercial emphasis toward territorial expansion and continental orientation; from deferential social and political norms into the most egalitarian social, economic, and political nation on the globe. Gordon Wood has done it again!" -David Curtis Skaggs,
Northwest Ohio History

Always the perfect gift

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 778 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0199832463
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0199832460
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.37 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.21 x 6.33 x 2.1 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 447 ratings

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Gordon S. Wood is Alva O. Way Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. His books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Radicalism of the American Revolution, the Bancroft Prize-winning The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, and The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History. He writes frequently for The New York Review of Books and The New Republic.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
447 global ratings

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