Revolutionary Characters by Gordon S. Wood
What Made the Founders Different

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In this brilliantly illuminating group portrait of the men who came to be known as the Founding Fathers, the incomparable Gordon Wood has written a book that seriously asks, ?What made these men great???and shows us, among many other things, just how much character did in fact matter. The life of each?Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, Paine?is presented individually as well as collectively, but the thread that binds these portraits together is the idea of character as a lived reality. They were members of the first generation in history that was self-consciously self-made?men who understood that the arc of lives, as of nations, is one of moral progress.


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 May 18, 2006 by Penguin Books. 348 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Wood explains his figures and their times in fresh ways, noting, for example, how Madison’s frustrations in the Virginia legislature inspired him to curb state power at the Constitutional Convention, and why the Democratic-Republican opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 fostered the ...

May 22 2006 | Read Full Review of Revolutionary Characters: Wha...

Publishers Weekly

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Bancroft and Pulitzer Prize–winner Wood suggests that behind America's current romance with the founding fathers is a critique of our own leaders, a desire for such capable and disinterested leadership as was offered by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

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Bookmarks Magazine

… This volume is at its most powerful when Mr. Wood uses his enormous knowledge of the era to situate his subjects within a historical and political context, stripping away accretions of myths and commentary to show the reader how Washington, say, or Franklin were viewed by their contemporaries."

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Revolutionary Characters: Wha...

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