DAVID HACKETT FISCHER: Gordon S. Wood, Historian of the American Revolution

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

Source: NYT, 7-24-11

THE IDEA OF AMERICA Reflections on the Birth of the United States By Gordon S. Wood 385 pp. The Penguin Press. $29.95.

Related

Excerpt: ‘The Idea of America’ (Google Books)

David Hackett Fischer teaches history at Brandeis University. He is the author of “Champlain’s Dream” and the forthcoming “Fairness
and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies, New Zealand and the United States.”

Gordon S. Wood is more than an American historian. He is almost an American institution. Of all the many teachers and writers of history in this Republic, few are held in such high esteem. Part of his reputation rises from his productivity — a stream of books, monographs, articles, lectures and commentary. Now he has added “The Idea of America” (along with a new edition of John Adams’s Revolutionary writings in two volumes for the Library of America series).

More important than his productivity is the quality of his work, and its broad appeal to readers of the right, left and center — a rare and happy combination. Specially striking is Wood’s rapport with the young. In the film “Good Will Hunting,” Matt Damon and Ben Affleck centered a lively scene at a student hangout on an impassioned discussion of Wood’s work. The television sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” made “Gordon Wood” into an adjective, and used it as a synonym for serious scholarship in general. “Wicked awesome,” one character said, “all that Gordon Wood business!” Through it all, the man himself preserves a quiet modesty, and even a humility that is central to his work. He is respected not only for what he does but for who he is.

Wood’s latest book is a collection of 11 essays, along with an introduction and conclusion, that encompass his entire career. It reveals more of the author than any of his other work and creates the opportunity for an overall assessment of his achievement. Wood introduces himself with a familiar line from the poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” He celebrates the foxes who flourish in his field, and adds in his modest way, “By contrast, as a historian I fear I am a simple hedgehog. . . . Nearly all of my publications have dealt with the American Revolution and its consequences.”…READ MORE

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Gordon S. Wood: How the Complete Meaning of July Fourth Is Slipping Away

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

Source: The New Republic, 7-4-11

Gordon S. Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor Emeritus at Brown University and the author, most recently, of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815.

At least one of the Founders thought that Independence Day would become important. When the Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776, John Adams, who more than any other single Founder was responsible for that vote, was ecstatic. America’s declaring of independence from Great Britain, he told his wife Abigail, marked “the most memorable Epocha in the History of America.” He hoped that the day would be “celebrated by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated,” he said, “as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

Although Adams was wrong about the day (two days later on July 4 the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence), he was right about the celebrations, at least through much of our history. For us today July Fourth is still an important holiday, and we can be thankful that no one is suggesting that we move it the closest Monday. Yet the day no longer seems to have the solemnity and significance that Adams hoped it would have. To be sure, we have lots of parades, games, and fireworks, but much of the meaning of these festivities seems to have slipped away from us.

This is too bad, for July Fourth, 1776, is not only the most important day in American history, but because the United States has emerged as the most powerful nation the world has ever known, it is surely one of the most important days in world history as well. The Declaration legally created the United States of America. It announced to a “candid world” that Americans were assuming “among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them.” But it did much more than that. It stated all governments everywhere were supposed to derive “their just powers from the consent of the people,” and that when any one of these governments became destructive of the people’s rights and liberties, the people could alter or abolish that government and institute a new one….READ MORE

Bernard Bailyn, Gordon S. Wood, Jacques Barzun, and Stanley Katz: Obama awards 2010 National Humanities Medals to historians

Source: National Endowment for the Humanities Press Release, 3-1-11

President Barack Obama announced the ten winners of the 2010 National Humanities Medals, awarded for outstanding achievements in history, literature, education, and cultural policy. The medalists are: authors Wendell E. Berry, Joyce Carol Oates, and Philip Roth; historians Bernard Bailyn and Gordon S. Wood; literary scholars Daniel Aaron, Roberto González Echevarría, and Arnold Rampersad; cultural historian Jacques Barzun; and legal historian and higher education policy expert Stanley Nider Katz. The medals were presented at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

The National Humanities Medal honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.

The official citations honoring the medalists are:

  • Daniel Aaron for his contributions to American literature and culture. As the founding president of the Library of America, he helped preserve our nation’s heritage by publishing America’s most significant writing in authoritative editions. (Read profile.)
  • Bernard Bailyn for illuminating the nation’s early history and pioneering the field of Atlantic history. Bailyn, who spent his career at Harvard, has won two Pulitzer Prizes, the first for The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution; and the second for Voyagers to the West. (Read profile.)
  • Jacques Barzun for his distinguished career as a scholar, educator, and public intellectual. One of the founders of the field of cultural history, Barzun taught at Columbia University for five decades and has written and edited more than thirty books. (Read profile.)
  • Wendell E. Berry for his achievements as a poet, novelist, farmer, and conservationist. The author of more than forty books, Berry has spent his career exploring our relationship with the land and the community. (Read profile.)
  • Roberto González Echevarría for his contributions to Spanish and Latin American literary criticism. His path-breaking Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative is the most cited scholarly work in Hispanic literature. González Echevarría teaches at Yale University. (Read profile.)
  • Stanley Nider Katz for a career devoted to fostering public support for the humanities. As director of the American Council of Learned Societies for more than a decade, he expanded the organization’s programs and helped forge ties between libraries, museums, and foundations.  (Read profile.)
  • Joyce Carol Oates for her contributions to American letters. The author of more than fifty novels, as well as short stories, poetry, and non-fiction, Oates has been honored with the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Short Story. (Read profile.)
  • Arnold Rampersad for his work as a biographer and literary critic. His award-winning books have profiled W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson, and Ralph Ellison. He has also edited critical editions of the works of Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. (Read profile.)
  • Philip Roth for his contributions to American letters. Roth is the author of twenty-four novels, including Portnoy’s Complaint and American Pastoral, which won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize. His criticism has appeared in American Poetry Review and The New York Times Book Review. (Read profile.)
  • Gordon S. Wood for scholarship that provides insight into the founding of the nation and the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. Wood is author and editor of eighteen books, including The Radicalism of the American Revolution, for which he earned a Pulitzer Prize. (Read profile.)

The medals, first awarded as the Charles Frankel Prize in 1989, will be presented during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. After the ceremony, the medalists and their families and friends will join the President and First Lady Michelle Obama for a reception in their honor.

Since 1996, when the first National Humanities Medal was given, 125 individuals have been honored, inclusive of this year’s awardees. Nine organizations also received medals. Previous medalists include Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, novelist John Updike, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, sociologist Robert Coles, and filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

History Headlines June 17, 2010: Gordon S. Wood: Was Washington ‘Mad for Glory’?

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Gordon S. Wood: Was Washington ‘Mad for Glory’?

An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Double Life of General James Wilkinson
by Andro Linklater
Walker, 392 pp., $27.00

The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon
by John Ferling
Bloomsbury, 464 pp., $20.00 (paper)

Washington-Custis-Lee Collection/Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA

George Washington as Colonel of the Virginia Regiment; painting by Charles Willson Peale, 1772

No two generals in the era of the early Republic appear to differ from one another more than George Washington and James Wilkinson. Although each man possessed considerable personal, political, and military skills and each at different times became commander in chief of the United States Army, the two generals seem to have little else in common. Washington was a revered figure in his own lifetime, someone who appeared to transcend the petty interests of ordinary men—a man of character, self-controlled, incorruptible, the epitome of selfless disinterestedness, and the savior of the new and fragile Union.

By contrast, Wilkinson, who was twenty-five years younger than Washington, was always a controversial figure, vain, flamboyant, and widely criticized for his selfishness and his lack of moral character. Throughout most of his career in the US Army, even as its commander in chief, he remained a paid secret agent of the Spanish government, a devious, untrustworthy, and corrupt creature who, far from endeavoring to preserve the Union, threatened several times to break it up. While Washington is rightly celebrated as one of America’s greatest heroes, Wilkinson may be the most unscrupulous character in all of American history.

But are the two men as opposite as they seem? Juxtaposing these two books suggests that Wilkinson and Washington may not be as different from one another as we have thought, or at least one of the authors wants us to think so.

History Doyens: Gordon S. Wood

HISTORY DOYENS

Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

Gordon S. Wood, 4-3-06

What They’re Famous For

Gordon S. Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History at Brown University. He is one of the foremost scholars on the American Revolution in the country. His book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. It is considered among the definitive works on the social, political and economic consequences of the Revolutionary War. Edmund S. Morgan, Professor Emeritus of Yale University in his review of this book for the Gordon  Wood JPGNew York Review of Books called it “a tour de force. This is a book that could redirect historical thinking about the Revolution and its place in the national consciousness.” In the book, Professor Wood gives readers a revolution that transformed an almost feudal society into a democratic one, whose emerging realities sometimes baffled and disappointed its founding fathers.

Professor Wood has written numerous other books, including The Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787, which was nominated for the National Book Award and received the Bancroft and John H. Dunning prizes in 1970. He was involved in Ken Burn’s PBS production on Thomas Jefferson, is contributing his expertise in the National Constitution Center being built in Philadelphia and regularly devotes a portion of his time teaching history to high school students around the country. Wood was mentioned in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting which Wood in a 2004 Washington Post Interview called “my two seconds of fame.”

Personal Anecdote

I was always interested in history, even in high school with a history teacher who taught American history by having the students, up and down the rows, read aloud from the textbook. I majored in history in college but thought that I would enter the foreign service when I completed my military service in the Air Force. But being treated rather arbitrarily by the military (after eight months of training in Texas to become a photo-intelligence officer, I was promptly made a personnel officer when I was assigned to a squadron) made me leery of working for the government. So I applied to graduate school to study history instead. I have never regretted that decision.

I have come to realize that history is not merely an accumulation of information about the past. More important, it is a mode of understanding reality, not just the reality of the past but the reality of the present. Without a deep sense of history a person or a culture lacks perspective and wisdom. Despite the enormous number of history books that are published each year in the United States, most Americans do not seem to have a very deep sense of history. It might get in the way of our enthusiastic ebullience that we Americans can do anything.

Despite the constant repetition of George Santayana’s phrase that “those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it,” I don’t believe that history teaches any lessons. Or perhaps better: it teaches only one lesson, that nothing ever quite works out the way the historical participants intended or expected. In other words, if history teaches anything, it teaches humility, something we all need a little more of.

Looking for all sorts of lessons from the past is to misuse history for the sake of the present. Gordon Wood JPGThe search for lessons in fact expresses the sort of present-centered, instrumentalist history that we have usually found in the work of most American historians. Many historians today view history exclusively through the categories and values of the present and seek to use it directly to solve our present problems or to criticize our present culture. Rather than trying to understand the past on its own terms, many historians want the past to be immediately relevant and useful; they want to use history to empower people in the present, to help them develop self-identity, or to enable them to break free of that past. These ought not to be the functions of this greatest of the humanistic disciplines.

Of my books, my favorite is my first, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, largely I suppose because it was the first and because it seems to have been the most influential, even though it has not sold the most copies. Of course, I had no idea at the outset that it would become part of a so-called “republican synthesis.” That development only reinforces my view that history is a largely a series of unintended consequences in which the best laid plans of people go awry.

Quotes

By Gordon S. Wood

  • “By using the most popular and democratic rhetoric available to explain and justify their aristocratic system, the Federalists helped to foreclose the development of an American intellectual tradition in which differing ideas of politics would be ultimately and genuinely related to differing social interests. The  Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 JPG In other words, the Federalists in 1787 hastened the destruction of whatever chance there was in America for the growth of an avowedly aristocratic conception of politics and thereby contributed to the creation of the encompassing liberal tradition which mitigated and often obscured the real social antagonisms of American politics. By attempting to confront and retard the thrust of the Revolution with the rhetoric of the Revolution, the Federalists fixed the terms for the future discussion of American politics. They thus brought the ideology of the Revolution to consummation and created as distinctly American political theory but only at the cost of eventually impoverishing later American political thought.” — Gordon Wood in “Creation of the American Republic”
  • “A new generation of democratic Americans was no longer interested in the revolutionaries’ dream of building a classical republic of elitist virtue out of the inherited materials of the Old World. Radicalism  of the American Revolution JPG America, they said, would find its greatness not by emulating the states of classical antiquity, not by copying the fiscal-military powers of modern Europe, and not by producing a few notable geniuses and great-souled men. Instead, it would discover its greatness by creating a prosperous free society belonging to obscure people with their workaday concerns and their pecuniary pursuits of happiness–common people with common interests in making money and getting ahead. No doubt the cost that America paid for this democracy was high–with its vulgarity, its materialism, its rootlessness, its anti-intellectualism. But there is no denying the wonder of it and the real earthly benefits it brought to the hitherto neglected and despised masses of common laboring people. The American Revolution created this democracy, and we are living with its consequences still.” — Gordon Wood in “Radicalism of the American Revolution”
  • The  Americanization of Benjamin Franklin JPG “It is the image of the hardworking self-made businessman that has most endured. Franklin was one of the greatest of the Founders; indeed, his crucial diplomacy in the Revolution makes him only second to Washington in importance. But that importance is not what we most remember about Franklin. It is instead the symbolic Franklin of the bumptious capitalism of the early republic-the man who personifies the American dream-who stays with us. And as long as America is seen as the land of opportunity, where you can get ahead if you work hard, this image of Franklin will likely be the one that continues to dominate American Culture. — Gordon Wood in “The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin”

About Gordon S. Wood

  • “One of the half dozen most important books ever written about the American Revolution.” — New York Times Book Review reviewing “The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787”
  • “During the nearly two decades since its publication, this book has set the pace, furnished benchmarks, and afforded targets for many subsequent studies. If ever a work of history merited the appellation ‘modern classic,’ this is surely one.” — William and Mary Quarterly reviewing “The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787”
  • “[A] brilliant and sweeping interpretation of political culture in the Revolutionary generation.” — New England Quarterly reviewing “The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787”
  • “This is an admirable, thoughtful, and penetrating study of one of the most important chapters in American history.” — Wesley Frank Craven reviewing “The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787”
  • “The most important study of the American Revolution to appear in over twenty years… a landmark book.” — Pauline Maier in The New York Times Book Review reviewing “Radicalism of the American Revolution”
  • “A breathtaking social, political, and ideological analysis. This book will set the agenda for discussion for some time to come.” — Richard L. Bushman reviewing Radicalism of the American Revolution
  • “An elegant synthesis done by the leading scholar in the field, which nicely integrates the work on the American Revolution over the last three decades but never loses contact with the older, classic questions that we have been arguing about for over two hundred years.” — Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers reviewing “The American Revolution”
  • “In this absorbing narrative, one of out premier American historians has captured the extraordinary interaction of a rising American people and the man who rose with them, shaping their aspirations as they shaped his.” — Edmund S. Morgan, Yale University reviewing “The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin.”
  • “[Wood] possesses as profound a grasp of the early days of the Republic as anyone now working…” — The New York Times Book Review reviewing “The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin”
  • “I cannot remember ever reading a work of history and biography that is quite so fluent, so perfectly composed and balanced…” — The New York Sun reviewing “The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin”
  • “Wood’s relies heavily — though never heavy-handedly — on psychology. Wood alludes frequently to Franklin’s “genius”… giving the patient reader an exceptionally rich perspective on one of the most accomplished, complex and unpredictable Americans of his own time or any other. — Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post reviewing “The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin”
  • Bancroft and Pulitzer Prize-winner Wood suggests that behind America’s current romance with the founding fathers is a critique of our own leaders, a desire for such capable and disinterested leadership as was offered by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Revolutionary Characters : What Made the Founders Different JPG Provocatively, Wood argues that the very egalitarian democracy Washington and Co. created all but guarantees that we will “never again replicate the extraordinary generation of the founders.” In 10 essays, most culled from the New York Review of Books and the New Republic, Wood offers miniature portraits of James Madison, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Paine. The most stimulating chapter is devoted to John Adams, who died thinking he would never get his due in historians’ accounts of the Revolution; for the most part, he was right. This piece is an important corrective; Adams, says Wood, was not only pessimistic about the greed and scrambling he saw in his fellow Americans, he was downright prophetic-and his countrymen, then and now, have never wanted to reckon with his critiques. Wood is an elegant writer who has devoted decades to the men about whom he is writing, and taken together, these pieces add perspective to the founding fathers cottage industry. — Publishers Weekly advance praise for “Revolutionary Characters : What Made the Founders Different”
  • “He’s a very distinguished name, and he’s increased the public profile of the University. It’s very sad to lose someone of Gordon’s stature. He’s the sort of person who puts Brown on the map… “I’m a big fan of Gordon’s, he has been tremendous for the University.” — Timothy Harris, Munro-Goodwin-Wilkinson Professor in European History, Brown University in “The Brown Daily Herald”
  • “You can see he’s so knowledgeable and he just has this clear expertise on the Revolution,” he said. “I wanted to take a class with a professor who’s basically the authority on a subject, and I know that Gordon Wood is the man… “I took it just because I’m interested in the American Revolution and the beginning of our nation, and because I know we’re at a time that we’re making a lot of decisions. It’s interesting to look back and see where our nation began.” — Evan Brown ’06, Brown University in “The Brown Daily Herald”
  • Beth Hoffman became interested in [Wood’s] course when her high-school U.S. history teacher told her that Wood is “the Ben Affleck of the history world. “The teacher told Hoffman that “to pass up the opportunity to take a history class with Gordon Wood would be like passing up the opportunity to meet Ben Affleck.” — Beth Hoffman ’07, Brown University in “The Brown Daily Herald”
  • “Wood is an excellent lecturer and his command of the information is unparalleled.”… “I know he is famous, but talent is there. We are lucky to have a living legend who is a great teacher and not just resting on his rep. If he is not the next president of our university we should be thrown out of the Ivy League.”… “A smart, well-spoken guy who clearly has come up with an innovative and intelligent interpretation in his field. Even occasionally funny at 9am.”… “His command of US history is astounding and scintillating.” — Anonymous Students at Brown University

Basic Facts

Teaching Positions:
Harvard University, Teaching Fellow, 1960-64.
College of William and Mary, Assistant Professor, 1964-66.
Gordon  Wood JPG

Harvard University, Assistant Professor, 1966-67.
University of Michigan, Associate Professor, 1967-69.
Brown University, Associate Professor, 1969-71.
Brown University, Professor of History, 1971-.
Pitt Professor, Cambridge University, 1982-83.
Brown University, Chairman, Department of History, 1983-86.
Brown University, University Professor, 1990-.
Brown University, Alva O. Way University Professor, 1997-.
Northwestern University School of Law, Pritzker Visiting Professor, 2001.
Northwestern University, Board of Trustee Professor of Law and History, 2003.

Area of Research: American Revolution, Founding Fathers

Education: A.B., Tufts University (Summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), 1955. A.M., Harvard University, 1959. Ph.D., Harvard University, 1964.

Major Publications:

  • The Creation of the American Republic, (University of North Carolina Press, 1969).
  • The Rising Glory of America, 1760-1820, (Braziller, 1971).
  • Revolution and the Political Integration of the Enslaved and Disenfranchised, (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1974).
  • Making of the Constitution, (Baylor University Press, 1987).
  • Radicalism of the American Revolution, (A.A. Knopf, 1992).
  • Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, (University of North Carolina Press, 1998).
  • American Revolution: A History, (Modern Library, 2002).
  • The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, (Penguin Press, 2004).
  • Revolutionary Characters : What Made the Founders Different, (Penguin Press, May 18, 2006).

Editor, Contributor, Joint Author:

  • (Editor) Representation in the American Revolution, (University Press of Virginia, 1969).
  • (Editor) The Confederation and the Constitution, (Little, Brown, 1973).
  • (Contributor) Leadership in the American Revolution, (Library of Congress, 1974).
  • (With J. R. Pole) Social Radicalism and the Idea of Equality in the American Revolution, (University of St. Thomas Bookstore, 1976).
  • (Edited with an introduction and notes) Rising Glory of America, 1760-1820, (Northeastern University Press, 1990).
  • (Editor with Louise G. Wood) Russian-American Dialogue on the American Revolution, (University of Missouri Press, 1995).
  • (Editor with Anthony Molho) Imagined Histories: American Historians Interpret the Past, Princeton University Press, 1998.
  • (Edited and with an introduction) Common sense and other writings by Thomas Paine, (Modern Library, 2003).

Contributor of articles to New England Quarterly and William and Mary Quarterly. Member of board of editors, Journal of American History.

Awards:

Pulitzer Prize in History (1993), Ralph Waldo Emerson Award of Phi Beta Kappa (1992), and Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award (1992), all for Radicalism of the American Revolution.
Bancroft Prize, Columbia University, John H. Dunning Prize, American Historical Association, and Nominee for National Book Award in History and Biography, all in 1970 for The Creation of the American Republic. Julia Ward Howe Prize from the Boston Authors Club, 2005 for The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin.
John Adams Fellowship, Institute of United States Studies, 2002.
Doctor of Letters, LaTrobe University, Australia, 2001.
Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, 2000.
Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellowship, Huntington Library, 1997-98.
Guest-Scholarship, Woodrow Wilson Center, 1993-94.
Visiting Fellowship, All Souls College, Oxford, 1991.
Sunderland Fellowship, University of Michigan Law School, 1990.
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1987-88.
Douglass Adair Award, 1984.
Daughters of Colonial Wars award for the outstanding article in the William and Mary Quarterly, 1983.
Kerr Prize for best article in New York History, awarded by New York Historical Society, 1981.
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1980-81.
National Humanities Institute, 1975-76.
National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, 1972-73.
Distinguished Visitor Award of the Australian-American Education Foundation, 1976.
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship, 1967. Toppan Prize, Harvard University, 1964.
Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1964-66.
De Lancey K. Jay Prize, Harvard University, 1963-64.

Additional Info:

Wood gave a distinguished lecture on “George Washington,” for the Presidential Lecture Series on the Presidency, The White House, 1991. Wood was the president of the Society for Historians of the Early Republic, 1986-87 and Chairman, Board of Advisors, National Historical Society, 1973-. Wood is on the Advisory Committee for the Papers of John Adams, 1990; Advisory Committee for the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1990–; Advisory Board for the Papers of James Madison, 1994–; Administrative Board for the Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 1995–. Wood is on the Advisory Board for Northeastern University Press, 1989–.; Board of Editors, Oxford History of the Enlightenment. Board of Trustees, National Council of History Education, 1996–; Advisory Board, Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, 1996–; and Board of Scholars, National Center for the American Revolution, 2002.
Wood also regularly contributes to the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and The New Republic, among others. Wood served as a consultant to the National Constitution Center and to the US Capitol renovation and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees for Colonial Williamsburg.
Wood also served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, 1955-58.

Posted on Sunday, April 2, 2006

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