The ideological origins of the American Revolution
The British Enlightenment
The French Enlightenment
Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and "natural rights."
The British legal tradition: Magna Carta and all.
Gordon S. Wood,
The American Revolution: A History,
The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution,
Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press,
The book listed above is one of the most influential books ever written about the Revolutionary period. It was first published by Harvard University Press in 1968. It was written by Bernard Bailyn who was an American historian, author, and academic specializing in U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary-era History. He was a professor at Harvard University from 1953. Bailyn won the Pulitzer Prize for History twice. Professor Bailyn just passed away this summer at the age of 97, and at his passing he was recognized as one of the very greatest of all the historians of the Revolution. This book brought together the ideas of the Revolutionaries in a way that made it a whole new topic of study in the field.
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life,
Simon & Schuster; 1st Edition (July 1, 2003),
Review From Publishers Weekly
"Most people's mental image of Ben Franklin is that of an aged man with wire-rim glasses and a comb-over, flying a kite in a thunder storm, or of the spirited face that stares back from a one-hundred-dollar bill. Isaacson's (Kissinger) biography does much to remind us of Franklin's amazing depth and breadth. At once a scientist, craftsman, writer, publisher, comic, sage, ladies' man, statesman, diplomat and inventor, Franklin not only wore many hats, but in many cases, did not have an equal. The most intriguing thing he invented, and continued to reinvent, according to Isaacson, was himself. Three-time Tony winner Gaines has an obvious interest and affinity for the material. His delivery of Isaacson's factual yet fascinating biography is informative and friendly with an instructional yet casual tone, like that of a gregarious narrator of an educational film. All things considered, Gaines is a good match for the material. He has the authority to deliver historical facts and the enthusiasm to keep listeners interested."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
FURTHER READING FOR THE TEN WEEKS
Here is a PDF document you can download and print with Prof. Thompson's reading for the whole quarter.