Empire of Liberty
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Empire of Liberty : A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815

By (author) Gordon S. Wood

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The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of the USA. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812. As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life-in politics, society, economy, and culture. The men who founded the new government had high hopes for the future, but few of their hopes and dreams worked out quite as they expected. They hated political parties but parties nonetheless emerged. Some wanted the United States to become a great fiscal-military state like those of Britain and France; others wanted the country to remain a rural agricultural state very different from the European states. Instead, by 1815 the United States became something neither group anticipated. Many leaders expected American culture to flourish and surpass that of Europe; instead it became popularized and vulgarized. The leaders also hope to see the end of slavery; instead, despite the release of many slaves and the end of slavery in the North, slavery was stronger in 1815 than it had been in 1789. Many wanted to avoid entanglements with Europe, but instead the country became involved in Europe's wars and ended up waging another war with the former mother country. Still, with a new generation emerging by 1815, most Americans were confident and optimistic about the future of their country. Integrating all aspects of life, from politics and law to the economy and culture, Empire of Liberty offers a marvelous account of this pivotal era when America took its first unsteady steps as a new and rapidly expanding nation. A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History Winner of the New-York Historical Society American History Book Prize A New York Times Bestseller Selected as one of the Top 25 Books of 2009 by The Atlantic "On every page of this book, Wood's subtlety and erudition show. Grand in scope and a landmark achievement of scholarship, Empire of Liberty is a tour de force, the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant thinking and writing." -The New York Times Book Review "Empire of Liberty will rightly take its place among the authoritative volumes in this important and influential series." -The Washington Post

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  • Paperback | 800 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 53.34mm | 1,088.62g
  • 24 Nov 2011
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0199832463
  • 9780199832460
  • 196,194

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Author Information

Gordon S. Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor Emeritus at Brown University. His books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Radicalism of the American Revolution, the Bancroft Prize-winning The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, and The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History. He writes frequently for The New York Review of Books and The New Republic.

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Review quote

Wood's study is fluently written and ingeniously structured ... Empire of Liberty is a highly readable and knowledgeable introduction to the Early Republic, one that can be recommended to both academics and students as well as to general readers. Michael Butter, ZAA 60.4: A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture

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