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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 American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812.
As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life—in politics, society, economy, and culture. The men who founded the new government had high hopes for the future, but few of their hopes and dreams worked out quite as they expected. They hated political parties but parties nonetheless emerged. Some wanted the United States to become a great fiscal-military state like those of Britain and France; others wanted the country to remain a rural agricultural state very…[more]
Grand in scope, rigorous in its arguments, and elegantly synthesizing thirty years of scholarship, this splendid book is likely to become the definitive work on the social, political, and economic consequences of 1776.
In The Radicalism of the American Revolution, Gordon S. Wood depicts not just a break with England, but the rejection of an entire way of life: of a society of feudal dependencies, a politics of patronage, and a world view in which people were divided between the nobility and “the Herd.” He shows how the theories of the country’s founders became realities that sometimes baffled and disappointed them. Above all, the Bancroft Prize-winning historian rescues the revolution from abstraction, allowing readers to see it with a true sense of its drama — and not a little awe.