Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Gordon S. Wood on Empire of Liberty at NRO

Since I'm in the middle of Gordon S. Wood's fine new book, Empire of Liberty, it's particularly appropriate to note that National Review Online has posted a podcast interview of Prof. Wood by John J. Miller about the book.


  1. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Hi ElektraTig,

    I'm looking for a good book on Federalist Period. I was thinking about "American Politics in the Early Republic. The New Nation in Crisis" by James Roger Sharp but since "Empire of Librety" appeared I'm not sure which way to go. What would you suggest?

    Alex K. (aka The_General)

  2. General,

    I don't know Prof. Sharp's book, so I can't answer your question directly. That said, Gordon Wood is one of the giants on the period. Even though his new book extends to 1815, you're going to want to read it sooner or later, and his coverage of the Federalist Era is excellent.

    If I may add one other suggestion, my favorite book on the period to 1801 is The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800 by Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick. It's long and detailed – 750 pages or so of text – but but it held my interest throughout, both because it's very well written and because the story is so intrinsically fascinating. From a distance, we tend to imagine that the Federalist Period was some sort of golden age in which legendary figures worked in harmony with each other to build a new nation. But in fact it was one of the most contentious and bitter periods in American history, in large part because each of the emerging factions was convinced that the other would destroy the country if it prevailed.

    It's great to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments anytime.

  3. Anonymous2:39 PM

    Thanks. Age of Federalism looks interesting but first I'll check Gordon Wood's new book.



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