Originally published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, this sweeping political history examines America’s transformation from colony to republic during the Revolutionary War. The “New York Times Book Review” hailed it as “one of the half dozen most important books ever written about the American Revolution.” This latest edition includes a preface on republicanism by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American history professor Gordon S. Wood.
During the Revolutionary era, American political theory underwent a fundamental transformation that carried the nation out of a basically classical and medieval world of political discussion into a milieu that was recognizably modern. This classic work is a study of that transformation. Gordon Wood describes in rich detail the evolution of political thought from the Declaration of Independence to the ratification of the Constitution and in the process greatly illuminates the origins of the present American political system. In a new preface, Wood discusses the debate over republicanism that has developed since – and as a result of – the book’s original publication in 1969.