Monday, November 9, 2015

Is There a Bobby Jindal--Gordon Wood Connection?

I am not sure if Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is still running for president.  Since he is not getting much media attention and has become a featured performer (along with Rick Santorum, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham) on the GOP under-card debates, I doubt this post about him and his campaign will go viral.

As I watch Jindal, I have noticed he has made the phrase "The Idea of America" the primary theme of his campaign.  Here he is in Iowa:


When I first heard Jindal use this phrase I thought of historian Gordon Wood's 2012 book The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States.  I am not sure what kind of ideological overlap there might be between Wood and Jindal on the "idea of America" (although I am guessing my more left-leaning readers will jump on the chance to make the connection), but it is interesting that Jindal has also written a book about the American past.  It is called American Will: The Forgotten Choices That Changed Our Republic.

I have not read either book. Perhaps Jindal's use of the phrase "The Idea of America" and the title of Wood's book is a coincidence.  But speculation about Jindal's use of Wood's phrase gets more interesting when one considers that Jindal attended Brown University, the Ivy League institution where Wood spent most of his career.  Jindal graduated in 1991 with a major in biology and public policy.

I cannot seem to find anything online or in American Will that references Wood as the source of Jindal's phrase, but it seems logical that Jindal would know of Wood's work.

For what it's worth...