Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood
A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (Oxford History of the United States)

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The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812.
As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life--in politics, society, economy, and culture. The men who founded the new government had high hopes for the future, but few of their hopes and dreams worked out quite as they expected. They hated political parties but parties nonetheless emerged. Some wanted the United States to become a great fiscal-military state like those of Britain and France; others wanted the country to remain a rural agricultural state very different from the European states. Instead, by 1815 the United States became something neither group anticipated. Many leaders expected American culture to flourish and surpass that of Europe; instead it became popularized and vulgarized. The leaders also hope to see the end of slavery; instead, despite the release of many slaves and the end of slavery in the North, slavery was stronger in 1815 than it had been in 1789. Many wanted to avoid entanglements with Europe, but instead the country became involved in Europe's wars and ended up waging another war with the former mother country. Still, with a new generation emerging by 1815, most Americans were confident and optimistic about the future of their country.
Named a New York Times Notable Book, Empire of Liberty offers a marvelous account of this pivotal era when America took its first unsteady steps as a new and rapidly expanding nation.

About Gordon S. Wood

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GORDON S. WOOD is the Alva O. Way University Professor and a professor of history 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 most recent book, Empire of Liberty, won the 2010 New-York Historical Society Prize in American History. Wood contributes regularly to The New Republic and The New York Review of Books.
Published October 28, 2009 by Oxford University Press. 797 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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An account of America’s first quarter-century, presented with great insight and scholarship.

Nov 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Empire of Liberty: A History ...

Publishers Weekly

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Anew addition to the Oxford History of the United States, Wood's superb book brings together much of what historians now know about the first quarter-century of the nation's history under

Aug 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Empire of Liberty: A History ...

Dallas News

By DAVID WALTON / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News David Walton lives and teaches in Pittsburgh.

Dec 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Empire of Liberty: A History ...


Any student of US history who desired to know who we are as Americans, how we got to where we are, and even possibly where we are headed as a country, could not do better than to read this superlative history of a most critical time in our nation's past.

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The New York Review of Books

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California Literary Review

Even southern states like Virginia began to outlaw the importation of new slaves from Africa and the slave trade to the nation as a whole was set to end in 1808 with the expiration of a 20 year protective measure in the U.S. Constitution.

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BBC History Magazine

When the period covered by his volume opened, the new United States had just abandoned its first form of government – the loose-reined Articles of Confederation – and had adopted the more centralising Federal Constitution.

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