Gordon S. Wood
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|Gordon S. Wood|
Wood in 2006
|Born||Gordon Stewart Wood
November 27, 1933
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Institutions||College of William and Mary
University of Michigan
Northwestern University School of Law
|Alma mater||Harvard University
|Doctoral advisor||Bernard Bailyn|
|Notable awards||Pulitzer Prize (1993)
Bancroft Prize (1970)
National Humanities Medal (2010)
Gordon S. Wood (born November 27, 1933) is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University and the recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Radicalism of the American Revolution. His book The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 won a 1970 Bancroft Prize. In 2010, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal.
Youth and education
Wood was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and grew up in Worcester and Waltham. He graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 1955 and has served as a trustee there. After serving in the U.S. Air Force in Japan, during which time he earned an A.M. at Harvard University, he entered the Ph.D. program in history at Harvard, where he studied under Bernard Bailyn.
Wood received his Ph.D. in 1964. He has taught at Harvard, the College of William and Mary, the University of Michigan, Brown, Cambridge University (Pitt Professor), and in 1982–83 he lectured for One Day University.
In addition to his books (listed below), Wood has written numerous influential articles, notably "Rhetoric and Reality in the American Revolution" (1966), "Conspiracy and the Paranoid Style: Causality and Deceit in the Eighteenth century" (1982), and "Interests and Disinterestedness in the Making of the Constitution" (1987). He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and The New Republic.
Marriage and family
Wood married the former Louise Goss on April 30, 1956. They have three children: Christopher, Elizabeth and Amy. Their son, Christopher, is a professor of German at New York University and their daughter, Amy, is a professor of history at Illinois State University, and Elizabeth is an administrator at Milton Academy.
In popular culture
Wood, who met Gingrich once in 1994, surmised that Gingrich may have approved because the book "had a kind of Toquevillian touch to it, I guess, maybe suggesting American exceptionalism, that he liked". He jokingly described Gingrich's praise in an interview on C-SPAN in 2002 as "the kiss of death for me among a lot of academics, who are not right-wing Republicans."
In one of the celebrated scenes of the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon's title character gets into a battle of wits with a student from Harvard University, whom he accuses of uncritically parroting the views of the authors on his reading list as a first-year graduate student. He goes on to predict that a little later in his curriculum, he would simply be "regurgitating Gordon Wood." The student begins to respond with a critique of Wood, which Hunting interrupts, completes, and notes is plagiarized from Daniel Vickers' Farmers and Fishermen: Two Centuries of Work in Essex County.
In the episode, "The Gang Reignites the Rivalry," of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie Kelly, trying to emulate Good Will Hunting, accuses a group of students of "regurgitating Gaud and Wood."
- The Creation of the American Republic, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1969.
- (Editor) Representation in the American Revolution, University of Virginia Press (Charlottesville, VA), 1969.
- (Editor) The Rising Glory of America, 1760–1820, George Braziller (New York, NY), 1971, revised edition, Northeastern University Press (Boston, MA), 1990.
- (Editor) The Confederation and the Constitution, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1973.
- Revolution and the Political Integration of the Enslaved and Disenfranchised, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (Washington, DC), 1974.
- (Contributor) Leadership in the American Revolution, Library of Congress (Washington, DC), 1974.
- (With J.R. Pole) Social Radicalism and the Idea of Equality in the American Revolution, University of St. Thomas (Houston, TX), 1976.
- (With others) The Great Republic, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1977, 4th edition, Heath (Lexington, MA), 1992.
- The Making of the Constitution, Baylor University Press (Waco, TX), 1987.
- (Editor) Rising Glory of America, 1760–1820, Northeastern University Press (Boston, MA), 1990.
- The Radicalism of the American Revolution, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 1992.
- (Editor, with Louise G. Wood) Russian-American Dialogue on the American Revolution, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1995.
- Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1998.
- (Editor, with Anthony Molho) Imagined Histories: American Historians Interpret the Past, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1998.
- Monarchism and Republicanism in the Early United States, La Trobe University (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.
- The American Revolution: A History, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2001.
- The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, Penguin Press (New York, NY), 2004.
- Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, Penguin Press (New York, NY), 2006.
- The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History, Penguin Press (New York, NY), 2008.
- Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2010.
- The Idea of America. Reflections on the Birth of the United States. Penguin Press, New York City, 2011.
- Book contributions
- Contributor of articles to academic journals:
- Contributor of book reviews to periodicals, including
- Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2010. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2010. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Document Number: H1000107915. Retrieved 2010-06-22
- National Cable Satellite Corporation (April 21, 2002). "Booknotes". Transcript of an interview with Wood by Brian Lamb on C-SPAN's Booknotes. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
- "Gordon S. Wood", Faculty Webpage, Brown University
- Gordon S. Wood, "The Learning of Liberty for Civic Life", lectures at Boston University
- Gordon S. Wood at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Gordon S. Wood in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Booknotes interview with Wood on The American Revolution: A History, April 21, 2002.
- C-SPAN Q&A interview with Wood, April 13, 2008
- In Depth interview with Wood, September 5, 2010