"The Radicalism of the American Revolution" by Gordon S. Wood

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Grand in scope, rigorous in its arguments, and elegantly synthesizing thirty years of scholarship, this splendid book is likely to become the definitive work on the social, political, and economic consequences of 1776.

In The Radicalism of the American Revolution, Gordon S. Wood depicts not just a break with England, but the rejection of an entire way of life: of a society of feudal dependencies, a politics of patronage, and a world view in which people were divided between the nobility and "the Herd." He shows how the theories of the country's founders became realities that sometimes baffled and disappointed them. Above all, the Bancroft Prize-winning historian rescues the revolution from abstraction, allowing readers to see it with a true sense of its drama- and not a little awe.