In my high school U.S History course the summer reading that was assigned was a book called “The Radicalism of the American Revolution” by Gordon Wood. I thought at the time that the book was very interesting as he broke down all the various ways that the revolution challenged not only the existing political structure but also the cultural norms that had been adopted from their British counterparts.
I see that the first book in the recommended readings is a book also by Gordon Wood. Does this book make the same essential arguments as “The Radicalism…” does? Would you tend to agree with Wood’s thesis about the significance of its cultural impact?
No, the Wood book I recommend does not make the argument of Radicalism. Rather, it’s simply a brief account of the Revolution.
As it happens, Tom Woods interviewed me about the Revolution recently, and the interview will be played on his radio program tomorrow. The short of it is that I consider Radicalism the sole Wood book that isn’t worth reading–except as an artifact of late 20th-century American intellectual culture. In general, Wood’s book assumes that everything that happened after the Revolution is a result of the Revolution, which doesn’t seem to me a very compelling, or even interesting, contention. Please check out Tom’s program on Monday, June 30 for more details.
I heard the Tom Woods interview in which Dr. Gutzman registered his opinion on the Radicalism book. I was wondering about the Wood book Empire of Liberty (creepy title, in my opinion). It’s Audible’s Daily Deal today. The unfavorable Amazon reviews pan it as being too pro-Jefferson, which doesn’t strike me as a bad thing. Any thoughts on this book?