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Historian Gordon Wood to deliver Fries Lecture
Gordon WoodWeb
Gordon Wood

            Author and historian Gordon S. Wood will visit Georgia Southern University Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., to present this year’s Norman Fries Distinguished Lecture. His presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be at the Performing Arts Center, located on the corner of Chandler and Plant Roads.

            Wood will present a lecture on Benjamin Franklin entitled, “The Invention of Benjamin Franklin.” This lecture will kick off related events for the year, including the “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” traveling exhibition that will open at the Georgia Southern University Henderson Library on March 14, 2009.

            “It is a treat to have such an eminent historian speak at Georgia Southern,” said Bede Mitchell, dean of Henderson Library. “Professor Wood’s scholarship has deeply enriched our understanding of our nation’s founding.”

            Wood received degrees from both Tufts and Harvard University. He then went on to teach at Harvard and the University of Michigan before joining the faculty of Brown University in 1969, where he is currently the Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History.

            He is also the author of many works focusing on the founding of our nation, including "The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787," and "The Radicalism of the American Revolution," which won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize in 1993. The "Americanization of Benjamin Franklin" was awarded the Julia Ward Howe Prize by the Boston Authors Club in 2005. 

            Wood is currently completing a book on the writing of history, "The Purpose of the Past," and a volume in the Oxford History of the United States dealing with the period of the early Republic from 1789 to 1815. His latest book, "Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different," was published in 2006. Wood is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

            The Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series began in 2001. It is funded by an endowment in honor of the late Norman Fries, who was the founder of Claxton Poultry. In his more than 50 years in business, Fries built the company from a one-man operation into one of the nation’s largest poultry production plants.

            For more information on the Henderson Library Exhibition and other scheduled events relating to Benjamin Franklin and the founding fathers, contact Bede Mitchell, dean of Henderson Library at (912) 478-5115.

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