Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Exciting, compelling, and sure to provoke controversy, the book will be discussed for years to come." Library Journal
"A tour de force....This is a book that could redirect historical thinking about the revolution and its place in the national consciousness." New York Review of Books
"A breathtaking social, political, and ideological analysis. This book will set the agenda for discussion for some time to come." Richard L. Bushman, Columbia University
In a grand and immemsely readable synthesis of historical, political, cultural, and economic analysis, a prize-winning historian describes the events that made the American Revolution. Gordon S. Wood depicts a revolution that was about much more than a break from England, rather it transformed an almost feudal society into a democratic one, whose emerging realities sometimes baffled and disappointed its founding fathers.
Table of Contents
2. Patricians and Plebeians
3. Patriarchal Dependence
5. Political Authority
6. The Republicanization of Monarchy
7. A Truncated Society
8. Loosening the Bands of Society
9. Enlightened Paternalism
15. The Assault on Aristocracy
16. Democratic Officeholding
17. A World Within Themselves
18. The Celebration of Commerce
19. Middle-Class Order