Books Authored & Co-Authored by Walt Woodward
Creating Connecticut: Critical Moments That Shaped a Great State
Globe Pequot Press, 2020
Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward helps us understand how people and events in Connecticut’s past played crucial roles in forming the culture and character of Connecticut today. Woodward, a gifted story-teller, brings the history we thought we knew to life in new ways, from the nearly forgotten early presence of the Dutch, to the time when Connecticut was New England’s fiercest prosecutor of witches, the decades when Nutmeggers were rapidly leaving the state, and the years when Irish immigrants were hurrying into it. Whether it’s his investigation into the unusually rough justice meted out to Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, or a peek into Mark Twain’s smoking habits, Creating Connecticut will leave you thinking about our state’s past––and its future––in a whole new way
With Carol M. Highsmith
Chelsea Publishing, 2015
All of us know there’s something wonderfully special about Connecticut. Sometimes, though, we have to see our state through someone else’s eyes to realize fully how uniquely blessed we really are. That’s what Connecticut, by Carol M. Highsmith and Walter Woodward is all about. Commissioned by the US Library of Congress, Highsmith, one of America’s most acclaimed documentary photographers, visited our state over a three year period, capturing the essence of Connecticut in a breath-taking series of images. Through these pictures, and in the introduction by Connecticut State Historian Woodward, they reflect upon the unique qualities that make Connecticut one of America’s best places to be. This is a wonderful coffee table book for your home, and a terrific gift for a Connectican living away.
Read more about Highsmith’s experience photographing the state of Connecticut in Walt Woodward’s Fall 2015 column for Connecticut Explored: http://ctexplored.org/state-historian-the-picture-not-taken/
Prospero’s America: John Winthrop Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676
University of North Carolina Press, 2010
In Prospero’s America, Walter W. Woodward examines the transfer of alchemical culture to America by John Winthrop, Jr., one of English colonization’s early giants. Winthrop participated in a pan-European network of natural philosophers who believed alchemy could improve the human condition and hasten Christ’s Second Coming. Woodward demonstrates the influence of Winthrop and his philosophy on New England’s cultural formation: its settlement, economy, religious toleration, Indian relations, medical practice, witchcraft prosecution, and imperial diplomacy. Prospero’s America reconceptualizes the significance of early modern science in shaping New England hand-in-hand with Puritanism and politics.
First published in 2010, Prospero’s America was recently re-released in paperback (2013) and is also available an an eBook.
Teaching History with Museums: Strategies for K-12 Social Studies
With Alan Marcus and Jeremy Stoddard
Teaching History with Museums provides an introduction and overview of the rich pedagogical power of museums. In this comprehensive textbook, the authors show how museums offer a sophisticated understanding of the past and develop habits of mind in ways that are not easily duplicated in the classroom. Using engaging cases to illustrate accomplished history teaching through museum visits, this text provides pre- and in-service teachers, teacher educators, and museum educators with ideas for successful visits to artifact and display-based museums, historic forts, living history museums, memorials, monuments, and other heritage sites. Each case is constructed to be adapted and tailored in ways that will be applicable to any classroom and encourage students to think deeply about museums as historical accounts and interpretations to be examined, questioned, and discussed.