By Rube Ambler
Gordon S. Wood is an American historian of the first order. He won a Pulitzer Prize for The Radicalism of The American Revolution. He then achieved broad acclaim for 2004′s The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin.
Wood is such a renowned scholar of early American history, he was drafted to author a volume of the new Oxford History of the United States (amateur historians might remember that Rear Admiral Samuel Elloit Morrison was the sole author of the history, published in 1927). The new Oxford project has assembled the finest American historians of each period to produce some of the best history published in recent memory – evidenced by the Pulitzer Prizes that series contributors, James McPherson won for The Battle Cry of Freedom (1998) and Daniel Walker Howe garnered for What God Hath Wrought in 2008 (who also recently visited DCPL). This is serious history and we aren’t scared to say that we find it a little intimidating but also impossibly compelling. [Hey Yankee Rose, this is where we geek out!]
Wood has just published his contribution to that Oxford series titled Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815. It is billed as a definitive look at the first quarter-century of our nation’s history under the Constitution. At 800 pages, we have no doubt that it is.
Prof. Wood (did we mention he is on the faculty at Brown University and was a protege of the great Bernard Bailyn?) will be discussing the book this Monday evening at the Decatur Library. Those with a passion for history and our American slice of it, do not want to miss this event. Monday, Nov. 9 at Decatur Public Library, 215 Sycamore Street in the City of Decatur at 7:15.