One of the goals I set for myself this year was to was to read at least one book on history or education per month and write a short review here. Unfortunately, September has passed and I have no review to write. As it turns out, I’ve been doing a lot more writing than reading lately, but instead of blog posts, it’s been informal feedback for my students based on their participation in discussion, comments for progress reports, and, for my seniors, letters of recommendation for college.
At the moment, though, I am plugging away (slowly but surely) at Gordon S. Wood’s Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different. I’m an avid reader of Wood’s work and have been disappointed to find that much of the material is recycled and repackaged from Wood’s earlier writings. For example, the chapter I just finished last night was on Benjamin Franklin, and was pulled almost verbatim from his book The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin. Still, Wood is such a giant in the field that it’s hard not to learn something every time I pick up his work. I expect that to be the case with this book as well.
I look forward to having a bit more to say about it once I’ve finished, but in the meantime, if you’re ever looking for a good read on the Revolutionary era, Wood is the place to start.