The Radicalism Of The American Revolution Gordon S. Wood Summary

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Gordon S. Wood, in The Radicalism of the American Revolution, discusses what it means to be truly revolutionary. In this work, Wood shares his thoughts on the Revolutionary War and whether or not it was a movement radical enough to be considered an honest revolution. Wood discusses the reasoning behind the views of those in favor of the war being considered radical, as well as the views of those who believe the American Revolution to be unfortunately misnamed. He claims that “the Revolution was the most radical and most far- reaching event in American history.” Wood’s work is a valuable source for those studying the revolution because it redefines what it means to be radical, but the piece is also limited by the lack of primary information …show more content…

The education of an author on their topic is the biggest contributor to their reliability; having enough prior knowledge and background information on a subject is crucial when providing a historical analysis. An author’s personal background is of great importance as well, because their personal heritage and beliefs may lead to bias and misrepresentation of information, which removes all credibility of them and/or their work as source. Partiality, favoritism, and/or prejudice towards a specific demographic can create a blurred line between what is fact and what is opinion, which in turn can allow for personal assessments to be presented as arguments and facts even though they have been influenced to a great extent by prior thoughts and opinions. In Gordon S. Wood’s The Radicalism of the American Revolution, a new, postmodern take on what the word ‘radicalism’ really means. He focuses on not only the political and social effects of the American Revolution, but also on its lasting contributions to American society. Wood uses a fresh- but still knowledgeable- point of view while making his claims, and uses examples to support these claims. The biggest weakness of the source is that it is a secondary source that was created over two decades after the American Revolution ended, creating a lack of firsthand primary knowledge given in the

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