"Gordon S. Wood--winner of the Pulitzer Prize and professor of American history at Brown University--had no idea what he was getting into when he began this 653-page book. Innocently, he wanted to write a "monographic analysis of constitution-making in the Revolutionary era." Little did he know he would discover an intellectual world where a complete transformation of political thought was occurring, one that would create "a distinctly American system of politics." As Wood explains, "Beneath the variety and idiosyncrasies of American opinion there emerged a general pattern of beliefs about the social process--a set of common assumptions about history, society, and politics that connected and made significant seemingly discrete and unrelated ideas. Really for the first time I began to glimpse what late eighteenth-century Americans meant when they talked about living in an enlightened age." This original study of the American political system is a strong contribution to the scholarly studies of the events surrounding the nation's independence. "
The University of North Carolina Press