Public Program- Gordon S. Wood

Lectures and Performances
Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 7:30pm

book cover of Empire of Libery

"Empire of Liberty"
by Gordon S. Wood

Pulitzer-prize-winning historian Gordon Wood will discuss his latest book Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (Oxford University Press, 2009). This book covers the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812, a time marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life. The founders of the nation had high hopes for the future of the nation but few of their dreams worked quite as they expected. They hated political parties but parties nonetheless emerged along with a vibrant and raucous popular democracy dominated by the "middling sorts" composed of merchants, artisans, and entrepreneurs with a fierce belief in equality. While many of the founders hoped to eventually abolish slavery by 1815 the institution was stronger than ever and starting to expand westward. These are just a few of the themes that Professor Wood explores as he describes this pivotal era when America took its first unsteady steps as a new and rapidly expanding nation.

Gordon Wood
Gordon S. Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor Emeritus at Brown University. His 1969 book, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, received the Bancroft and John H. Dunning prizes and was nominated for the National Book Award. His 1992 book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, won the Pulitzer Prize and the Emerson Prize. His other works include The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin and The Purposes of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History. Dr. Wood contributes regularly to The New Republic and The New York Review of Books.

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