The preeminent historian
of the Founding Era reflects on the birth of American nationhood and
explains why the American Revolution remains so essential.
Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Gordon S. Wood, the American
Revolution is the most important event in our history, bar none. Since
American identity is so fluid, we have had to continually return to our
nation’s founding to understand who we are. In a series of illuminating
essays, he explores the ideological origins of the Revolution—from
ancient Rome to the Enlightenment—and the founders’
attempts to forge a democracy. He reflects on the origins of American
exceptionalism, the radicalism and failed hopes of the founding
generation, and the “terrifying gap” between us and the men who created
the democratic state we take for granted.
This is a profoundly revealing
look at the event that forged the United States and its enduring power
to define us.
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