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Extended Audio Sample The Radicalism of the American Revolution, by Gordon S. Wood Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,349 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gordon S. Wood Narrator: J. Paul Boehmer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Grand in scope, rigorous in its arguments, and elegantly synthesizing thirty years of scholarship, Gordon S. Wood’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book analyzes the social, political, and economic consequences of 1776.

In The Radicalism of the American Revolution, Wood depicts not just a break with England, but the rejection of an entire way of life: of a society with 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, Bancroft Prize–winning historian Wood rescues the revolution from abstraction, allowing readers to see it with a true sense of its drama—and not a little awe.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The most important study of the American Revolution to appear in over twenty years…a landmark book.”

    New York Times Book Review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jodi | 2/11/2014

    " Wood's entire book is based on his belief that the American Revolution was a truly radical and successful venture. I don't agree with all his assertions (Like "All Americans believed in the Revolution and its goals"--yea...that's not entirely accurate...)but for the most part, he had great sources and made some interesting points. I enjoyed learning the sociological history before and after the Revolution and appreciated that he didn't begin in 1760 and end in 1787 like so many other authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 2/11/2014

    " Good stuff to ponder. Not the last word on the Revolution or anything, but certainly a fascinating collection of social and cultural history from America circa 1750 to 1820 or so. Wood is arguing against a belief that the American Revolution did not involve a "revolutionary upheaval," and thus, did not involve real change. Since the Americans did not experience a reign of terror, or a Napoleonic dictator, Wood argues that it is easy to underestimate the American Revolution. Really, the whole way people thought about society was fundamentally changed. There was a huge difference between being subjects, and being citizens. There was a huge difference between seeing oneself as a courtier, looking for patronage appointments, and seeing oneself as a republican patriot. And there was a huge difference between seeing government as a system that should be run by wealthy people who were not engaged in dirty, money-grubbing commerce, and seeing government as a system that could ONLY be run by a mass of citizens, all out for their own interests, all dirty money-grubbers, all engaged in business. The Revolution to Wood, was the triumph of the middlers, the mass of common people all looking out for money, self-interest, and getting ahead, and for the late 18th century, this was revolutionary indeed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Chris | 2/10/2014

    " This book is brilliant. The sheer synthesis of information alone is a monolithic achievement. The analysis is amazing. Had the pleasure to go to a series of lectures and meet Professor Wood and he is the real deal. Great book that totally changes the way I look at early American history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ted Haussman | 2/9/2014

    " Really the best, most concise ad informative book I have read on the American Revolution. Wood is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to this period in history. "

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