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Gordon S. Wood
""Gordon Wood historian 2006.jpg
Wood in 2006
Born Gordon Stewart Wood[1]
(1933-11-27) November 27, 1933 (age 84)
"Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater "Harvard University (A.M., PhD)
"Tufts University (B.A.)
Children Christopher Wood, Elizabeth, Amy
Awards "Pulitzer Prize (1993)
"Bancroft Prize (1970)
"National Humanities Medal (2010)
Scientific career
Fields "History
Institutions "College of William and Mary
Harvard University
"University of Michigan
"Brown University
"Cambridge University
"Northwestern University School of Law
"Doctoral advisor "Bernard Bailyn

Gordon Stewart 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 (1992). His book The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (1969) won a 1970 "Bancroft Prize. In 2010 he was awarded the "National Humanities Medal.



Youth and education[edit]

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, receiving his Ph.D. in 1964.


Wood has taught at "Harvard, the "College of William and Mary, the "University of Michigan, "Brown University, and in 1982–83 was "Pitt Professor at "Cambridge 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.

A recent project was the third volume of the "Oxford History of the United States -- Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009) -- a finalist for the "Pulitzer Prize.

Marriage and family[edit]

Wood married the former Louise Goss on April 30, 1956. They have three children: Christopher, Elizabeth and Amy.[1] Their son, "Christopher Wood, 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[edit]

"Speaker of the House "Newt Gingrich publicly and effusively praised Wood's The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992), erroneously calling it The Founding of America. 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."[2]

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.



  1. ^ a b c "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
  2. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]

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