America’s Unplanned Constitutional Tradition

America’s Unplanned Constitutional Tradition

In recent years, Gordon Wood, arguably the greatest historian—living or dead—of the American founding, has become something of a punching bag in his field. This change in Wood’s reputation within the historical profession is not too surprising. The discipline is moving away from history as a liberal art and is rapidly transforming into just another ideologically driven social science obsessed with oppression and a weaponized past. Much like that of their Marxist predecessors, the answer to these new historians’ questions is always the same and always predetermined. For his part, Wood remains a committed champion of seeking objectivity and truth. As he explains in the introduction to his new book, Power and Liberty, “without a commitment to objective truth and the pastness of the past, the history of a nation becomes distorted, turns into politics by other means,…

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