I am reading historian Gordon Wood’s splendid “Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815.”
It is an ideal companion for this July Fourth weekend because it reminds us of the great continuities in our politics and national condition. Dynamic social and economic change, concern for the middle class, poisonous politics, bad policies, flawed leaders — they were all there two centuries ago, just as now. There’s a lesson here, though perhaps not the one you suspect.
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