New York University historian John Shovlin discusses the question of American influences on the French Revolution. Finding the American role “quite modest,” he describes the powerful forces at work within France that led to revolution in 1789.
Gordon Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History at Brown University and the author of The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin. Wood presents an unusual portrait of this celebrated American folk hero, tracing Franklin’s evolution from an ardent supporter of the British Empire to a pivotal leader in the American fight for independence.