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Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic | [Gordon S. Wood]

Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic

In Empire of Liberty, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812. As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life - in politics, society, economy, and culture.
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Publisher's Summary

In Empire of Liberty, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812.

As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life - in politics, society, economy, and culture. The men who founded the new government had high hopes for the future, but few of their hopes and dreams worked out quite as they expected. They hated political parties but parties nonetheless emerged. Some wanted the United States to become a great fiscal-military state, like those of Britain and France; others wanted the country to remain a rural agricultural state very different from the European states. Instead, by 1815 the United States became something neither group anticipated. Named a New York Times Notable Book, Empire of Liberty, part of The Oxford History of the United States series, offers a marvelous account of this pivotal era when America took its first unsteady steps as a new and rapidly expanding nation.

The Oxford History of the United States is considered the gold standard for serious historians and general readers (and listeners) alike. Three of the titles have won the Pulitzer Prize for history; two have been Pulitzer Prize finalists, and all of them have enjoyed critical and commercial success.

Please note: The individual volumes of the series have not been published in historical order. Empire of Liberty is number IV in The Oxford History of the United States.

Listen to more of the definitive Oxford History of the United States.

©2009 Gordon S. Wood; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner - Best History Audiobook, 2011

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (557 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tremendous work about a pivotal time"
    Where does Empire of Liberty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best historical audiobook I have heard


    What about Robert Fass’s performance did you like?

    The author writes with a flair for using words not normally found in conversation, yet Mr. Fass was impeccable in his reading.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 03-13-10
    Robert 03-13-10
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    "Definately worth a "read""

    Superbly written and read. Excellent over all.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leaspiritlove BEAVER, PA, United States 05-12-12
    Leaspiritlove BEAVER, PA, United States 05-12-12

    I love to learn and I love to listen to true stories, biographies, history and real life adventures.

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    "Great piece of history."

    I purchased this book due to it's high ratings and to supplement my learning in an American National Government class I was taking at the time. It proved to be more than valuable as I was able to better understand and appreciate my class more. I would have listened to this book either way. ☺

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 03-25-12
    Mark 03-25-12 Member Since 2013
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    "spectacular history of the period"

    this is a great overview of the period it covers form an incredibly knowledgeable and detailed scholar. If you are interested in American history, you need to read this book. If you aren't, this is a great book to read a little beyond your usual comfort zone. I'd guess you will be pretty interested in American history by the time you finish.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachelle Bakersfield, CA, United States 02-23-10
    Rachelle Bakersfield, CA, United States 02-23-10 Member Since 2002

    Addicted to audio-books.

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    "Interesting perspective"

    I read "John Adams" by David McCullough before I listened to this book. Such a striking difference on the perspective of John Adams. Wood obviously does not think much of Adams, commenting that Adams was interested in his own importance, which is in stark contrast to other opinions. It was an interesting book, but colors the characters too much with his (Wood's) opinions.

    22 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Mayer Richardton, ND 05-27-12
    Joel Mayer Richardton, ND 05-27-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Dissappointment"

    I was truly disappointed in this book. The "early American Republic" is one of my favorite era's of history and I read lots of reviews of Gordon Wood and was excited to experience his book. It was a real let down. In my mind it was tedious and boring as he went into characters that had only a marginal impact on society while, seemingly intentionally, bypassing such figures as Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, etc. Again, this was likely intentional as there are LOTS of books that tell their stories, but to barely mention them was bordering on negligence. This was not nearly as good as books written by McCullough and others.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara A. Ward Island Lake, IL, United States 06-28-11
    Barbara A. Ward Island Lake, IL, United States 06-28-11

    Barb Ward

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    "Book might be OK, monotone delivery."

    The reader of this book talked so fast and in such a monotone that I found it extremely difficult to follow the text. One thing just sort of bled into another. I love early American history and was looking forward to a more detailed look at our earliest years as a new country. It's a shame, I really wanted to like this book. It was difficult for me to get anything much out of it.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashraf Langley, British Columbia, Canada 04-19-10
    Ashraf Langley, British Columbia, Canada 04-19-10
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    "In depth and enjoyable"

    This book deepened my owe and admiration of the American experiment in establishing a lasting great experiment in establishing and validating that a republic built on liberty for all is possible. Seldom in history that a nation is blessed with several outstanding almost super human quality, the founding fathers and first presidents and leaders enabling this experiments to be a reality. God bless America and save the west

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 10-17-14
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 10-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Thrilling history read by a master of narration"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Wonderful development of the history of our country. Not having been much of a history student, it was deeply moving to learn how we developed in the late 1700's.


    What does Robert Fass bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Robert Fass has a superb voice for a very long read. Never got tired of his voice. Some, like Scott Brick, are for me, good for a short read. But Robert Fass is just superb.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Wandering Artist 06-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Informative, Fascinating, and Hard to Stick with"
    What made the experience of listening to Empire of Liberty the most enjoyable?

    The amount of information is amazing, and the multitude of revelations I had about current economics and politics that started from this time in American History was like wave after wave of intellectual bliss. I learned so much from.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The author was not able to relate facts in an easy to follow way/ He would often jump 10 years, forward and backward, for a sentence and then return to whatever time was being discussed; while I am all for this as a way to provide context, the author mishandles is by not being clear about which timeline is being discussed and also the number of times he skips timelines becomes occasionally confusing.


    Have you listened to any of Robert Fass’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    n/a


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Sheer joy at learning so much.
    Growing boredom at ineffective storytelling


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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