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Read the Revolution Speaker Series with Gordon Wood

Event is Part of the Museum’s Signature Read the Revolution Speaker Series 

Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author and historian Dr. Gordon S. Wood will launch his newest book, Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution, with a discussion at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The ticketed event on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Museum’s Liberty Hall and via livestream online, as part of the Museum’s signature Read the Revolution Speaker Series.

In Power and Liberty (Oxford University Press, Sept. 2021), Wood distills a lifetime of work on the Revolutionary era, the greatest and most creative era of constitutionalism in the history of America—and perhaps the world. His newest book shines a light on critical events in the nation’s founding, from the first stirrings of revolt that led to the creation of the Declaration of Independence to the establishment of our Federal Constitution. Exploring how Americans have experienced the nature of power, liberty, representation, rights, and other issues, Wood presents debates over the foundational, legal, and political documents of the United States with timely insights for today.

“Gordon Wood has packed a lifetime of learning into this splendid little volume. In his capable hands, our founding charters, grown stale from familiarity, regain their freshness and allure as revolutionary documents that redefined our politics.”
Ron Chernow, author of "Alexander Hamilton"

Following the discussion, the Museum’s Chief Historian and Curator Dr. Philip C. Mead will host a live Q&A with Wood, taking questions from both the onsite and online audiences. Mead and Wood previously co-edited the book Essays by “The Free Republican,” 1784-1786.

Guests who purchase onsite tickets can arrive at 6 p.m. to see a featured artifact from the Museum’s collection, enjoy refreshments at a cash bar, and have the opportunity to purchase a book signed by the author. Tickets are $20 for general admission onsite, and $15 for Zoom Webinar-only access. Member tickets are $15 onsite and $10 for Zoom Webinar-only access. The purchase of an event ticket is considered a donation in support of the Museum’s educational programs. Tickets can be purchased here.

Guests attending this program in person will be required to show proof of full COVID vaccination upon entry. “Full vaccination” means that the event date is at least 14 days after the guest’s final COVID-19 vaccine dose. Original CDC vaccination cards, photos, or electronic copies of the card are all acceptable forms of documentation. Proof of a negative COVID test will not be accepted. 

The featured artifact will be a copy of the book Roman History (or Titi Livii Historiarum Volumen Septimum), once owned by Virginian George Mason. Mason, a statesman and American Revolutionary later known as the “Father of the Bill Rights,” acquired this volume of ancient Roman history by the author and historian Livy (Titus Livius) in 1769.

The Museum’s Read the Revolution Speaker Series brings celebrated authors and historians to the Museum for lively discussions of their work. Now in its fifth year, the series is based on the Museum’s national Read the Revolution bi-weekly e-newsletter, which features excerpts from thought-provoking books about the American Revolution.

Looking ahead, Harvard University political theorist and award-winning author Danielle Allen will join the Museum on Thursday, January 27, 2022, to discuss her groundbreaking book Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014) as the Museum’s 2022 Carl M. Buchholz Memorial Lecturer.

The Museum’s Revolution Society Members receive complimentary access to Read the Revolution Speaker Series events and invitations to an exclusive online event series to read and discuss select historical documents that inspire our favorite book titles. Learn more by contacting Bridget Hovell, Manager of Leadership Giving at the Museum of the American Revolution, by phone at 267.579.3364 or by email at [email protected].

Read the Revolution is sponsored by The Haverford Trust Company. 

About Gordon S. Wood
Gordon S. Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. He is the author of many books, including The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, which won the Bancroft Prize and John H. Dunning Prize of the American History Association; The Radicalism of the American Revolution, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize; The American Revolution: A History; The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin; Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, which was a New York Times bestseller; Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the American History Book Prize from the New-York Historical Society; and Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. He is a regular reviewer for the New York Review of Books.

About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit or call 877.740.1776.