Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hayward on Gordon Wood's Republicanism

Stephen Hayward has an essay, "The Liberal Republicanism of Gordon Wood," in the Winter 2006 issue of the Claremont Review of Books. He begins:
Gordon Wood is the favorite historian of America's liberal establishment. His essays appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and the New Republic, and liberalism's leading intellectuals—from Michael Sandel to Morton Horwitz to Bruce Ackerman to Cass Sunstein—regularly cite him with approbation. What virtues do they see in his work? In Wood's books, particularly his Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, they see a hammer with which to bash American individualism and capitalism, and to support an ever-growing administrative state.

Wood says that the American Revolution was a "republican" revolution. By that he means that it had intellectual roots ranging from ancient Greece and Rome to the English Commonwealth, and that it was more communal than capitalistic. "Ideally," he writes, "republicanism obliterated the individual." ...

For the rest, click here.

Thanks to Cliopatria for the tip.