Revolutionary Character: What Made the Founders Different  -     By: Gordon Wood
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Revolutionary Character: What Made the Founders Different

Penguin Books / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

Revolutionary Characters offers a series of brilliantly illuminating studies of the men who came to be known as the founding fathers. Each life is considered in the round, but the thread that binds the work together and gives it the cumulative power of a revelation is this idea of character as a lived reality for these men. For these were men, Gordon Wood shows, who took the matter of character very, very seriously. They were the first generation in history that was self-consciously self-made, men who understood the arc of lives, as of nations, as being one of moral progress. They saw themselves as comprising the world's first true meritocracy, a natural aristocracy as opposed to the decadent Old World aristocracy of inherited wealth and station.Gordon Wood's wondrous accomplishment here is to bring these men and their times down to earth and within our reach, showing us just who they were and what drove them. In so doing, he shows us that although a lot has changed in two hundred years, to an amazing degree the virtues these founders defined for themselves are the virtues we aspire to still.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0143112082
ISBN-13: 9780143112082
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

Gordon S. Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and 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 2009 book Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, won the 2010 New York Historical Society Prize in American History. Wood's other books include Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders DifferentThe Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of HistoryThe Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, and most recently, The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States, and he contributes regularly to The New Republic and The New York Review of Books.

Editorial Reviews

Of those writing about the founding fathers, [Gordon Wood] is quite simply the best. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
Shrewdly argued . . . powerful. (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
Illuminating . . . poignant. (Jon Meacham, The New York Times Book Review)
If we can't turn back the clock, at least we can enjoy a master historian's refreshing reassessment of seven men whose legacies live on. . . . It has the integrity and, yes, the eccentricity of the Founders it celebrates. (The Weekly Standard)
Of those writing about the founding fathers, [Gordon Wood] is quite simply the best. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

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