Friday, September 25, 2015

More Gordon Wood on the American Revolution Pamphlet War

Scott Porch of the  Los Angeles Review of Books recently interviewed historian Gordon Wood about his new Library of America edited collection, The American Revolution: Writings From the Pamphlet Debate, 1764-1776.

Porch asked Wood how he first learned that his name was invoked by the Matt Damon character (Will Hunting) in a scene from the move Good Will Hunting:


SCOTT PORCH: Did you realize that when you Google your name, the first autocomplete is “gordon wood good will hunting”?
GORDON S. WOOD: [Laughs.] That’s my two seconds of fame! More kids know about that than any of the books I have written. 
I haven’t seen Good Will Hunting in a while. Does your name come up in the “how ’bout them apples” speech?
No, it’s when a Harvard student in a bar is sounding off on history and the Matt Damon character says he’s wrong and should read Gordon Wood and so on.
Did the producers call you, or did you find out about it when the movie came out?
I got an email from a former student of mine who had gone to the movie opening in Cambridge in, I think, 1997. That was my first knowledge of it. For the next year or two, every time I gave a talk somewhere, some student would raise his hand and ask a question about Good Will Hunting.