American Revolution Over the Past Few Years, Book Review

Excerpt from Book Review :

American Revolution

Over the past few years, a number of historians have written about the first years of the American experience. In most cases, they either rave about the actions of the patriots: How this was unlike any other time in world history -- when being bullied, it is necessary to take the defensive. Or, they take a much more negative view: This whole event should not be blown out of proportion. It just happened to be the right time and place for something like this to occur. Just look at what did happen -- or actually what did not happen. Slavery, sexism and imperialism continued, just under another guise. So what? In The American Revolution written in 2002, Gordon S. Wood, one of the most knowledgeable writers on this time period, takes a much more realistic -- and pragmatic -- approach. Unlike so many who now write about the America's past, he does not have any hidden agenda or political leaning. He has no desire to be one of those historians who emphasizes the faults of this time. He says with disappointment that "some historians today are more apt to stress the failures of the Revolution" than to believe that anything substantially progressive came out of this historical event. One scholar, Wood notes, said that the Revolution "failed to free the slaves, failed to offer full political equality to women, ... failed to grant citizenship to Indians, failed to create an economic world in which all could compete on equal terms." Wood would rather argue that "the Revolution, like the whole of American history, is not a simple morality play; it is a complicated and often ironic story that needs to be explained and understood, not celebrated or condemned."

In fact, in less than 200 pages (166 to be exact) he tells just that kind of story. He reviews the happenings of the American revolt and provides his unique take on what occurred. The…

Sources Used in Document:

Reference Cited

Wood, Gordon. The American Revolution. New York: Modern Library, 2002.

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