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The American Revolution: A History

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “An elegant synthesis done by the leading scholar in the field, which nicely integrates the work on the American Revolution over the last three decades but never loses contact with the older, classic questions that we have been arguing about for over two hundred years.”—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers A magnificent account of the revol NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “An elegant synthesis done by the leading scholar in the field, which nicely integrates the work on the American Revolution over the last three decades but never loses contact with the older, classic questions that we have been arguing about for over two hundred years.”—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers A magnificent account of the revolution in arms and consciousness that gave birth to the American republic. When Abraham Lincoln sought to define the significance of the United States, he naturally looked back to the American Revolution. He knew that the Revolution not only had legally created the United States, but also had produced all of the great hopes and values of the American people. Our noblest ideals and aspirations-our commitments to freedom, constitutionalism, the well-being of ordinary people, and equality-came out of the Revolutionary era. Lincoln saw as well that the Revolution had convinced Americans that they were a special people with a special destiny to lead the world toward liberty. The Revolution, in short, gave birth to whatever sense of nationhood and national purpose Americans have had. No doubt the story is a dramatic one: Thirteen insignificant colonies three thousand miles from the centers of Western civilization fought off British rule to become, in fewer than three decades, a huge, sprawling, rambunctious republic of nearly four million citizens. But the history of the American Revolution, like the history of the nation as a whole, ought not to be viewed simply as a story of right and wrong from which moral lessons are to be drawn. It is a complicated and at times ironic story that needs to be explained and understood, not blindly celebrated or condemned. How did this great revolution come about? What was its character? What were its consequences? These are the questions this short history seeks to answer. That it succeeds in such a profound and enthralling way is a tribute to Gordon Wood’s mastery of his subject, and of the historian’s craft. From the Hardcover edition.


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “An elegant synthesis done by the leading scholar in the field, which nicely integrates the work on the American Revolution over the last three decades but never loses contact with the older, classic questions that we have been arguing about for over two hundred years.”—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers A magnificent account of the revol NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “An elegant synthesis done by the leading scholar in the field, which nicely integrates the work on the American Revolution over the last three decades but never loses contact with the older, classic questions that we have been arguing about for over two hundred years.”—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers A magnificent account of the revolution in arms and consciousness that gave birth to the American republic. When Abraham Lincoln sought to define the significance of the United States, he naturally looked back to the American Revolution. He knew that the Revolution not only had legally created the United States, but also had produced all of the great hopes and values of the American people. Our noblest ideals and aspirations-our commitments to freedom, constitutionalism, the well-being of ordinary people, and equality-came out of the Revolutionary era. Lincoln saw as well that the Revolution had convinced Americans that they were a special people with a special destiny to lead the world toward liberty. The Revolution, in short, gave birth to whatever sense of nationhood and national purpose Americans have had. No doubt the story is a dramatic one: Thirteen insignificant colonies three thousand miles from the centers of Western civilization fought off British rule to become, in fewer than three decades, a huge, sprawling, rambunctious republic of nearly four million citizens. But the history of the American Revolution, like the history of the nation as a whole, ought not to be viewed simply as a story of right and wrong from which moral lessons are to be drawn. It is a complicated and at times ironic story that needs to be explained and understood, not blindly celebrated or condemned. How did this great revolution come about? What was its character? What were its consequences? These are the questions this short history seeks to answer. That it succeeds in such a profound and enthralling way is a tribute to Gordon Wood’s mastery of his subject, and of the historian’s craft. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for The American Revolution: A History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lona Manning

    I've had some depressing encounters on Twitter lately with people who think that "Oh yeah? Slavery!" or "Oh yeah? Indians!" is all you need to say to shut down any praise of the Founders, as well as with people who fault the Founders because they didn't establish a Scandinavian-style social democracy with universal suffrage. It's sent me back to the bookshelf for another round of reading. I intend to read more of what the Founders actually wrote because a lot of people now living in the nation th I've had some depressing encounters on Twitter lately with people who think that "Oh yeah? Slavery!" or "Oh yeah? Indians!" is all you need to say to shut down any praise of the Founders, as well as with people who fault the Founders because they didn't establish a Scandinavian-style social democracy with universal suffrage. It's sent me back to the bookshelf for another round of reading. I intend to read more of what the Founders actually wrote because a lot of people now living in the nation they established seem to believe they had pretty selfish motives. And remember that writing was a laborious process back then, dipping the quill pen in the ink, working by candlelight. So it seems odd that the Founders spent so much time writing about liberty, and how to protect and preserve the republic, and the threat of tyrannical government and how to limit government from taking over our lives, when, according to their modern-day critics, they only cared about making money and oppressing poor people. This book gives the big picture, the American Revolution at 20,000 feet, so to speak. It discusses the events of the Revolution and more importantly the progress and the evolution of the thinking that produced the Revolution and the Constitution that followed. It lays out the arguments made by the people who rebelled against King George III, and gives an explanation of what they hoped to accomplish. I found myself highlighting passage after passage. Many countries have had revolutions and all too often, a tyrant (Robespierre, Napoleon, Lenin, Mao, Castro, Mugabe) takes over and destroys the egalitarian dream of the people who supported the revolution. They throw off one tyrant to find themselves under a new tyranny. But because we had Washington, Jefferson and Madison, etc, that didn't happen in the USA. As the book notes, Washington drew world-wide acclaim and wonder for stepping down and returning to his plantation at the end of his presidency. Wood also discusses the changes the Revolution brought about in education, the fifth estate and charitable organizations. "Unlike liberals of the twenty-first century, the most liberal-minded of the eighteenth century tended to see society as beneficent and government as malevolent." Its pretty much reversed today. So it's very worthwhile to review what the Founders actually said and believed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    robin friedman

    The Beginnings Of American Democracy The American Revolution remains the formative event in our Nation's history. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln looked back to it to define the significance of the conflict and to restate the ideals and aspirations of our country. In "The American Revolution: A History" the distinguished historian of the American Revolution, Gordon Wood, has written a succinct summary of the Revolution which will give the reader a good overview of the event. The book will al The Beginnings Of American Democracy The American Revolution remains the formative event in our Nation's history. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln looked back to it to define the significance of the conflict and to restate the ideals and aspirations of our country. In "The American Revolution: A History" the distinguished historian of the American Revolution, Gordon Wood, has written a succinct summary of the Revolution which will give the reader a good overview of the event. The book will allow the reader to think through for him or herself the meaning of our Revolution and to explore further through additional reading as indicated in the bibliography . In the short compass of the study, Wood offers his own interpretation of the importance of the Revolution. It was the source of what he calls "middling democracy". By this phrase, Wood means that any person, regardless of social status, wealth or education had the right to pursue his or her own ends, to find value, and to seek his or her own self-defined interests and economic success. The Revolution broke the hierarchical structures of Europe. We are still, for Wood, living through and developing the insights and consequences of the Revolution. I found the most interesting section of the book was the discussion of the French-Indian War and how it lead Great Britain to place an army on the frontier and to impose certain taxes to pay its cost. From these small beginnings, a Revolution grew. Wood presents a summary of the causes of the Revolution -- a topic difficult and fascinating in itself. Wood briefly discusses the Revolutionary War, and spends somewhat more space discussing the Articles of the Confederation and the experiments of the various states with constitutionalism and independence. Wood has explored this ground before in his longer books, particularly his "The Radicalism of the American Revolution" and it is pivotal to his understanding of the formation of American democracy. Finally Wood discusses the Constitutional Convention and the Federalist Anti-Federalist debate over the ratification of the Constitution. He discusses the significance of the Constitution as a written document (unlike the unwritten Constitution of England) and he suggests how the Constitution led, in a short time and in spite of the Framer's intentions, to the robust "middling democracy" that is the theme of his book. The American Revolution was not one event, but several. (The break with England, War, Articles of Confederation, Constitution) Wood gives each attention here and shows how they were each integrated with the other to produce the beginnings of American democracy. Wood's account both gives an insightful view of the history and also encourages the reader to reflect on how the Revolution continues to shape our country and its values. Robin Friedman

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    This is a short book. It isn't about the Revolutionary War (although the war is part of it). It's about all the revolutions in government, economics, culture, and society that we ordinary folk clump together and misinterpret when we refer to the American Revolution. The Revolution was anything but a military revolution; in fact, it was a revolution in just about everything but that. And the author does a fantastic job of revealing just how revolutionary the Revolution was. It's a quick read and This is a short book. It isn't about the Revolutionary War (although the war is part of it). It's about all the revolutions in government, economics, culture, and society that we ordinary folk clump together and misinterpret when we refer to the American Revolution. The Revolution was anything but a military revolution; in fact, it was a revolution in just about everything but that. And the author does a fantastic job of revealing just how revolutionary the Revolution was. It's a quick read and a great introduction for those who wouldn't be able to give a 2 minute talk about the Revolution if our lives depended on it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    After my undergraduate history degree focusing on the American Revolution, this book is a nice overview now that I am 3 years out of college. It's an easy read without too many names and dates to make your eyes glaze over. He does lean heavily towards Ben Franklin, but that is only natural as he has done biographies on the man. Rather than get caught up in the details of the Revolution, the reader sees the big picture and how the events relate to one another. After my undergraduate history degree focusing on the American Revolution, this book is a nice overview now that I am 3 years out of college. It's an easy read without too many names and dates to make your eyes glaze over. He does lean heavily towards Ben Franklin, but that is only natural as he has done biographies on the man. Rather than get caught up in the details of the Revolution, the reader sees the big picture and how the events relate to one another.

  5. 4 out of 5

    James Smith

    Great primer for someone whose high school education took place in Canada; probably a good refresher for others. Succinct overview from pre-Revolutionary background to ratification of the Constitution by a scholar who wrote one of the definitive histories. I learned more than I care to admit. ;-)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Professor Wood, considered by many to be one of the better historians of the American Revolution, has written perhaps the classic summary of the conflict that founded one nation,ended the first empire of another and has changed the world. What sets this book, at less than a 170 pages, is its conciseness and ability to sum up many and large complicated issues well. Wood does a wonderful job if explaining how a struggle between 13 of Britain's 21 North American colonies was virtually inevitable due Professor Wood, considered by many to be one of the better historians of the American Revolution, has written perhaps the classic summary of the conflict that founded one nation,ended the first empire of another and has changed the world. What sets this book, at less than a 170 pages, is its conciseness and ability to sum up many and large complicated issues well. Wood does a wonderful job if explaining how a struggle between 13 of Britain's 21 North American colonies was virtually inevitable due to many circumstances that were surely incomprehensible at first, and to hard to untangle afterwards when the issues were of the present day, until all at once, individuals who would rather not, were forced to choose sides. The unusual thing about the American Revolution, is that both sides were choosing between two different types of traditionalism, and were forced to fight a contemporary battle among issues that had divided English speaking peoples since early Norman times, over 600 years in the past. As Wood easily explains, a series of disputes over trade acts and taxes hardly seems like the justification to start the world anew, especially considering that the Revolution saw a huge proportion of military and civilian deaths, leading to economic destruction and civil war in many of the colonies. Wood only spends 14 whole pages on direct discussion on the military conflict proper, though a reader will not come away with misunderstandings about how the conflict developed or why it was concluded the way it was. The strategic limitations of the British military, not least of which was that were told to wage general war on people most of their office class considered to be as much their countrymen as a Scotchman or Welshman, in the fast American frontier, are explained crisply. Along the way, Wood does a fine job of explaining why the culture of the American colonies was more united than they gave themselves credit for, why it was overwhelmingly optimistic, with a bent on radical equality of the sort that British people had not hoped for in over 400 years. Wood quotes a British traveler in America from 1759 who writes of the American urgency to rise to the point where the American British reached their destiny to write the laws of the rest of civilization. From that frame of reference, of a new American nation, built with the best of British hopes of tradition, law and religion is how Wood has framed the story of the American Revolution. The book is recommended in the highest way.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nick Smith

    At a little less than 170 pages, this volume on The American Revolution is perfect for any amateur historian. Not only does it describe the calamitous war which broke out first at Lexington and Concord, but it also painstakingly details the contentious array of events which impelled the American people to their separation with Great Britain. Drawing on a number of decades as a professor of history, Wood is able to be what he is: an expert on the Revolutionary period. Wood then goes on to describ At a little less than 170 pages, this volume on The American Revolution is perfect for any amateur historian. Not only does it describe the calamitous war which broke out first at Lexington and Concord, but it also painstakingly details the contentious array of events which impelled the American people to their separation with Great Britain. Drawing on a number of decades as a professor of history, Wood is able to be what he is: an expert on the Revolutionary period. Wood then goes on to describe the way Americans, once the British were defeated, gradually came to solve the bigger problem of how they would be governed. After Shays' rebellion and the period of time when state governments became corrupt in ways, the general consensus of lawmakers was to drastically change the Articles of Confederation, scrapping it, and outline their plan of republican government. Wood is quick to note that although the Federalists did get their way in some of the reforms, ultimately it was the Anti-Federalists who came to dominate American politics in the following generation. And with this point, he proves that American politics is unpredictable, that if you think you know what's going to happen, you might wind up dead wrong. Along with a copious bibliography, the book is perfect and concise enough to manage in a week. I highly recommend it! Five stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Greg Brown

    A brilliantly compact general survey of the American Revolution, starting with the factors that led up to it and ending with the ratification of the constitution. Speaking as someone whose elementary, middle, and high schools covered it mostly on a military and mythic level - with the historiography stalled out somewhere in the 19th century - the book did an amazing job of illustrating the true variety of causes and contexts that this seminal event held. I know most readers come at this subject A brilliantly compact general survey of the American Revolution, starting with the factors that led up to it and ending with the ratification of the constitution. Speaking as someone whose elementary, middle, and high schools covered it mostly on a military and mythic level - with the historiography stalled out somewhere in the 19th century - the book did an amazing job of illustrating the true variety of causes and contexts that this seminal event held. I know most readers come at this subject through the biographies of various Founding Fathers, but if you're going to read one book about the American Revolution, this should be it. Plus the bibliography is probably the most badass bibliography I have ever read, essentially a roadmap to what you should read if you're interested in any specific facet of the subject.

  9. 4 out of 5

    SJ Loria

    The most concise, bang for your buck, and informative history of the American Revolution. Each chapter is meticulously researched, wonderfully presented and careful to provide multiple perspectives. This is the kind of history book with no "filler" text or unnecessary rambling. It's almost as if you could underline every sentence because each has so much to offer. This book is outstanding. The most concise, bang for your buck, and informative history of the American Revolution. Each chapter is meticulously researched, wonderfully presented and careful to provide multiple perspectives. This is the kind of history book with no "filler" text or unnecessary rambling. It's almost as if you could underline every sentence because each has so much to offer. This book is outstanding.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chad Manske

    Part of our National War College Domestic Context course reading, this Pulitzer Prize winning book from renowned Constitutional scholar Wood takes the reader on a whirlwind tour beginning with the roots of the Revolution all the way through the Federalist/Anti-Federalist debates. A portable and worthy read!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pete Stevenson

    This is the best American Revolution review book there is. It does not go into depth on any one subject, but it explains everything very easily, and is very short (~200 pages).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I was looking for a brief overview of the American Revolution, and I found it. It is hard to believe that so much information and insight can be found in just 165 pages. Gordon S. Wood's The American Revolution: A History summarizes the events surrounding the revolution, and places them in a context that you do not get in K-12 education. Many of the details are not given. For example, why a certain battle was not won, etc. Those are details for other books. What I found here was the societal and I was looking for a brief overview of the American Revolution, and I found it. It is hard to believe that so much information and insight can be found in just 165 pages. Gordon S. Wood's The American Revolution: A History summarizes the events surrounding the revolution, and places them in a context that you do not get in K-12 education. Many of the details are not given. For example, why a certain battle was not won, etc. Those are details for other books. What I found here was the societal and theoretical context through which to understand the revolution itself. What I found most fascinating, perhaps, is just how modern the issues of the 1770-1780s seem in relation to the issues of today. We often have a sense that 200 or 250 years ago, people were less advanced or more naive than today. But for a ocean of difference in technology, there really is not much difference. We still grapple with the issues of state sovereignty versus federal authority, and with a class system that seems to dominate elected offices. Issues of race and equality were not misunderstood, though they were often ignored or distorted. The book is easy to read and fluid. I found the writing to be erudite without being stuffy and boring. The larger context of what England was doing before the revolution and why the colonists rebelled is well explained, along with descriptions of England's reactions and efforts to make peace. I learned many things about England's response to the revolution here that I didn't learn in school (or I have forgotten). What I liked about the book is that it has encouraged me to read more about the era. I plan to read other books to fill in details that were just skimmed in this summary. I'm not sure you can ask for more from a brief and concise survey work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brian Willis

    This the deepest concise version of the American Revolution out there, not simply a rehashing of the facts but rather a profound analysis of the reasons and the causes and the effects of the colonial rebellion. If you ask the person on the street, they will most likely respond with the shallowest reasons for the rebellion: "freedom", "tyranny", and the like. These terms betray a profound misunderstanding of the revolution: what exactly were loyal English subjects rebelling against? It turns out, This the deepest concise version of the American Revolution out there, not simply a rehashing of the facts but rather a profound analysis of the reasons and the causes and the effects of the colonial rebellion. If you ask the person on the street, they will most likely respond with the shallowest reasons for the rebellion: "freedom", "tyranny", and the like. These terms betray a profound misunderstanding of the revolution: what exactly were loyal English subjects rebelling against? It turns out, according to Wood, that the rural, remote American rebelled against concentrations of power outside of their sphere that dominated their lives. This rebellion is traced by Wood through its progressions in taxation, armed rebellion, and finally the establishment of American government with the US Constitution. Other books will give a deeper analysis and more thorough investigations but that is not Wood's job here. This is a superb book for those who want a quick overview of the Revolution, a brief refresher course, or simply Wood's own acclaimed take on its importance: the radicalism of the farming class rejecting remote financial power centers that stretched into the pockets of the working class.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Lithgow

    I should preface this review by saying, the only history books I read are biographies. I find them completely absorbing, so I thought I'd enjoy some "overall history" books. But, either history books just aren't as great as biographies, or this book was sort of total crap. More specifically. . . I felt like it was way too much information crammed in to way too short of a volume (only 166 pages). Clearly, the goal here was to give a brief overview, but instead of being a scratch-the-surface sort of I should preface this review by saying, the only history books I read are biographies. I find them completely absorbing, so I thought I'd enjoy some "overall history" books. But, either history books just aren't as great as biographies, or this book was sort of total crap. More specifically. . . I felt like it was way too much information crammed in to way too short of a volume (only 166 pages). Clearly, the goal here was to give a brief overview, but instead of being a scratch-the-surface sort of a deal, it felt more like a bajillion and one tedious details all smashed together - and not in consecutive order, either, which I always think makes things more confusing then they need to be. I felt like this should-be-interesting topic was made a bit dry and boring, and on top of that, I kept getting the feeling that I was reading a high school term paper. I'm a bit disillusioned with this genre of books as a result of reading this one, and am less excited about the other three I've bought and was thinking of reading soon. . .

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Milne

    About a week ago I had to sum up the period proceeding the Revolutionary War and leading through the ratification of the Constitution for a student I was tutoring. It had been a while since I had done that, and it felt dicey - not that she could tell, but it bothered me. So I decided a refresher was in order. I recalled reading this brilliant little book as a graduate student, so I pulled it off my shelf. Wood is a supreme historian and expert on the Revolutionary era. I give him full marks for About a week ago I had to sum up the period proceeding the Revolutionary War and leading through the ratification of the Constitution for a student I was tutoring. It had been a while since I had done that, and it felt dicey - not that she could tell, but it bothered me. So I decided a refresher was in order. I recalled reading this brilliant little book as a graduate student, so I pulled it off my shelf. Wood is a supreme historian and expert on the Revolutionary era. I give him full marks for condensing so much so well. Of course he could have delivered a massive tome on the subject, but it may just be more impressive to speak comprehensively and with brevity. If you want to understand what led to the War that led to America, as well as the philosophical and political basis that are our founding, this is the place to start.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jc

    A wonderful short introduction/summary/review (depending on your level of history reading) of the Revolutionary period in America. The book is more than the title promises. It doesn't just outline the war. In fact, the actual Revolution takes up only a small portion of the book. The rest is telling what lead to the war, what life was like for those who lived in the soon-to-be United States at the time, and how the Revolution changed the politics, economy, and daily life of Americans, and how it A wonderful short introduction/summary/review (depending on your level of history reading) of the Revolutionary period in America. The book is more than the title promises. It doesn't just outline the war. In fact, the actual Revolution takes up only a small portion of the book. The rest is telling what lead to the war, what life was like for those who lived in the soon-to-be United States at the time, and how the Revolution changed the politics, economy, and daily life of Americans, and how it affected the world at large. Fascinating how much Wood could squeeze into only 200 some pages, and still give the reader and exciting, readable narrative with lots of details. Highly recommended to anyone who would like to review the founding of the country.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ian Van Sice

    This volume's two strongest recommendations are its brevity and its bibliography. Wood concentrates the most important histories and themes of the revolution, from anticipating events to the varying political science of the age, into fewer than two hundred pages. Its cursory examination of the subject would lack authority were it provided by just about anyone else. Many readers will likely be left hungry for more. The bibliographic notes provide further opportunities for in depth reading on a va This volume's two strongest recommendations are its brevity and its bibliography. Wood concentrates the most important histories and themes of the revolution, from anticipating events to the varying political science of the age, into fewer than two hundred pages. Its cursory examination of the subject would lack authority were it provided by just about anyone else. Many readers will likely be left hungry for more. The bibliographic notes provide further opportunities for in depth reading on a variety of related topics. I will keep this book around for this as well as its readability and its anticipated value in repeat visits.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul Southland

    Excellent Summary of American Revolution In very readable and concise manner Wood takes one from the events leading to American revolution to the adoption of the Constitution. The author explains economic, social, and religious currents running thru the fabric of America and how they entwine to develop the impetus for revolution and development of a radically new form of republican government. He thoughtfully explores the interests of France, Spain, and other European nations as they relate to th Excellent Summary of American Revolution In very readable and concise manner Wood takes one from the events leading to American revolution to the adoption of the Constitution. The author explains economic, social, and religious currents running thru the fabric of America and how they entwine to develop the impetus for revolution and development of a radically new form of republican government. He thoughtfully explores the interests of France, Spain, and other European nations as they relate to the New World developments.

  19. 4 out of 5

    J

    A masterful synthesis of the scholarship on the era. The prose is clear and concise, driving a narrative that is not only enjoyable but that carefully guides the reader through complex ideas. Wood paints a vivid portrait of the interconnected web of people, ideas, and events that comprise the American Revolution. If you want a quick but nuanced look at the Revolution, this is the book you need to read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cherif Jazra

    Real bad, full of generalities, platitudes, and mythologizing. the author doesn’t try to make us understand much of what was happening, but remains at a 20,000 ft requiring leap of faith from his readers in almost every other paragraph. One of the worst book I have read, given that I have already read many books on the topics. I am very skeptical this would be even a decent book for beginners. Nothing much original that hasn’t been written before.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This is a short, solid review of the American Revolution. In one sense I was disappointed in this book. It breaks no new ground, has no new or surprising insights to share. On the other hand, it doesn't leave anything indispensable out. This is a thorough non-controversial, conventional overview of the American Revolution. Recommended for those who know little or nothing about this period in American history. This is a short, solid review of the American Revolution. In one sense I was disappointed in this book. It breaks no new ground, has no new or surprising insights to share. On the other hand, it doesn't leave anything indispensable out. This is a thorough non-controversial, conventional overview of the American Revolution. Recommended for those who know little or nothing about this period in American history.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    The American Revolution is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to supplement their education of the American Revolution. This book is a great refresher of the Republican principles upon which The United States was founded, and the checks and balances established to safeguard the rights of individuals and the minority from a factious tyrannical majority. Couldn’t have read this at a more appropriate time in our nation’s history.

  23. 4 out of 5

    James M.

    A short (very), concise (extremely) survey of all aspects - economic, political, philosophical, military - of the Revolution which, several times, made me think that I was reading a school textbook because of its reach. Nevertheless, I’m always able to find interesting nuggets of hitherto unknown (to me, at least) information even from a survey. A good read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David

    Well written, but not entirely about the Revolution. I was expecting a book about the Revolutionary War, but instead found that it was about the Revolution that brought about changes that changed the culture of America.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Required reading for my American Conflict course. Absolutely loved it for the principle fact that it narrates a historical event in an actually interesting and attention grasping voice. A very welcomed deviation from the history textbooks that I am accustomed to.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean Chick

    An excellent overview of the Revolution and Gordon Wood's interpretation of the Revolution. An excellent overview of the Revolution and Gordon Wood's interpretation of the Revolution.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Kranda

    A wonderful overview of the revolution. The author deals with complex issues with brevity and simple language. I really enjoyed it. This book excites your appetite to read more about history.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Watto Nick

    Absolute trash! I picked up this book thinking, as it's title depicts 'A History' of the American Revolution not a book personal opinion of the revolution All seriousness this book is the stereotypical mentality of American patriotism that most non America's despise. With statements such as 'the revolution is the greatest achievement that stunned the French and indeed the rest of the world.' When in fact no one outside the colonies in 1776 knew what the hell America was! Woods gloats about Americ Absolute trash! I picked up this book thinking, as it's title depicts 'A History' of the American Revolution not a book personal opinion of the revolution All seriousness this book is the stereotypical mentality of American patriotism that most non America's despise. With statements such as 'the revolution is the greatest achievement that stunned the French and indeed the rest of the world.' When in fact no one outside the colonies in 1776 knew what the hell America was! Woods gloats about American's at the time of the revolution being at the forefront of progression, equality, enlightenment and of course libertarianism. In reality America in 1776 Had 25% of it's population in slavery. Woman were treated only slightly better than slaves (considered to be property). Massacred the indigenous population. And each colony was not united at all they actually despised each other. I feel as though there are many things about this book that if told from a neutral stand point would be a better read But if you want to read 170 pages (or so) of Gordon Wood talk about how great America is and how much better they were than the rest of the world then this is the book for you.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tonya Lowery St. John

    This was required summer reading for my daughters AP US History class. I enjoyed how the author delved into all the context surrounding the revolution, both precedents and consequences, rather than just give a blow by blow chronological account of the events as they transpired. I walked away with a better understanding about the history behind many current issues as well.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Decent introduction and overview of the American Revolution that never goes too deep into detail.

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