The Radicalism of the American Revolution

by Gordon S. Wood
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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 269

The Radicalism of the American Revolution is a nonfiction book written by Gordon S. Wood. Since the book is nonfiction, it does not have "characters," such as those you would find in a work of fiction. However, the book features various historical figures.

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One of the most prominent historical figures in The Radicalism of the American Revolution is George Washington, who served as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and would go on to become the first president of the United States of America. In the book, Wood presents a detailed analysis of George Washington, both as a person and as a historical figure within the context of the American Revolution.

Wood further explores the political philosophy of George Washington in sections of the book that argue that republicanism was the basis for the revolutionaries' "enlightened" ideas during the Revolution.

Another prominent historical figure featured in the book is Thomas Jefferson, who was represented Virginia as a delegate to the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. Along with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson would become a Founding Father of the United States of America. Jefferson is most famous for writing the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.

In the section about republicanism and the idea of enlightenment that stemmed from republicanism, Wood details the political and social ideas of Thomas Jefferson. Wood argues that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were "radicals," similar to other famous revolutionaries such as Che Guevara and Mao Zedong.

Other historical figures Wood references include various members of the Continental Association of 1774, such as John Adams and and John Jay.

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