Biography[ edit ] Youth and education[ edit ] Wood was born in Concord, Massachusettsand grew up in Worcester and Waltham. He graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in and has served as a trustee there. After serving in the U. Air Force in Japanduring which time he earned an A.
During the first half of the twentieth century it was re-evaluated as a class and sectarian conflict, and more recently has become an event whose very worth requires serious questioning. Slavery continued for the following century and nothing was achieved for women, so what kind of a revolution was it anyway?
Professor Wood rejects any such anachronistic impositions of value as a comment only upon their proponents, and gets on with telling the story. Actually, he does rather more than that; for a slim summary of a big event there is a great deal of synthesised analysis wound around his narrative.
Joyfully for those of us who find it hard to get our historical kicks from ferreting on the battlefields, he devotes few pages to the eight years of actual fighting.
Having won a Pulitzer in for his book The Radicalism of the American Revolutionwhich demonstrated how society and culture were transformed, Wood is clearly on strong territory when it comes to the real-life effects of the move from monarchical to republican society - on popular religion, the economy, education, the family and the slavery question.
He begins his tale by explaining the factors that, in the 15 years running up to the Declaration of Independence inwere aggravating relations between the British and their increasingly suspicious colonists.
New settlements were developing away from the East Coast in an ungovernable backcountry, weakening colonial authority. Standards of living were going up as cross-Atlantic trade flourished and settlements developed their own manufacturing, undermining the old paternalistic structure of colonial society.
Settlers were quick to blame the British, right up to the young George III himself, for any misfortunes which befell them. Wood escorts us on a whistlestop tour of the growing tensions of the s, taking us through the chucking of a lot of British tea into Boston harbour and the charmingly named Coercive Acts which then closed that port until the tea had been paid for.
All this, then the preparations for military action and the fighting itself, are described with great elegance and crispness.
With no space to go into their background, famous names are fluently introduced in order to step forward and play their part. Wood clarifies the convoluted British attempts to justify their ill-fated policy of taxing the colonies without providing them representation in Parliament.
He demonstrates with enthusiasm how a rebellion which its leaders insisted was on behalf of the principles of the English constitution was actually going much further, and how the irreconcilable faultline over the issue of sovereignty led to the development of a radically new kind of political structure.
Although there are reminders of what, in the future, this new structure was going to evolve into, Wood is fairly scrupulous about not viewing the revolution through a twenty-first-century lens.
It is hard as a reader, though, not to consider some current elements of American politics.
Jul 24, · Gordon S. Wood is more than an American historian. He is almost an American institution. Of all the many teachers and writers of history in this Republic, few are held in such high esteem. Part of. The American Revolution: A History by Gordon S. Wood NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “An elegant synthesis done by the leading scholar in the field, which nicely integrates the work on the American Revolution over the last three decades but never loses contact with the older, classic questions that we have been arguing about for /5(16). The Stamp Act Congress issued a “Declaration of Rights and Grievances,” which, like the Virginia Resolves, declared allegiance to the king and “all due subordination” to Parliament but also reasserted the idea that colonists were entitled to the same rights as Britons.
It would be good to be able to smile wryly, remembering how Bush Jnr was elected, while reading of the principle that only election should be a criterion of representation - but in these dangerous days it is more likely to provoke the tearing of hair.The word history comes from the Greek word historía which means "to learn or know by inquiry." In the pieces that follow, we encourage you to probe, dispute, dig deeper — inquire.
History is not static.
It's fluid. It changes and grows and becomes richer and more complex when any individual.
“Remarkable, invaluable.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World “Wood is the preeminent historian of the Revolution Here he manages to boil down to its essence this crucial period in the country’s history without in the process reducing it to History Lite.
The American Revolution refers to the period during the last half of the eighteenth century in which the Thirteen Colonies that became the United States of America gained independence from the British Empire.. In this period, the colonies rebelled against Britain and entered into the American Revolutionary War, also referred to (especially in Britain) as the American War of Independence.
About Gordon S. Wood. Gordon S. Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and professor of history emeritus at Brown University. His book, The Creation of the American Republic, –, received the Bancroft and John H. Dunning prizes and was nominated for the National.
Gordon Stewart Wood (born November 27, ) is Alva O.
Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, and the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for History for The Radicalism of the American Revolution ().
His book The Creation of the American Republic, – () won a Bancroft timberdesignmag.com he was awarded the National Humanities Medal.
The American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood Weidenfield & Nicolson £, pp The two hundred years following the American Revolution have seen various approaches to the writing of its history.