I don't have a good natural head for history--I tend to get easily bogged down in details and lose track of who's who, where, what, and other essentials. McCullough may be my favorite historian because he essentially solves these issues for me, and seems to view the story and essential lessons it provides as the primary purpose in sharing a history.
For historical purists, no fear: McCollough has all the scholarship and hard data your heart may desire; his talent seems to be that he includes all that without making it the main focus. After reading/listening to this book, I'm eager to listen to it again and actually learn some of the harder data--which indicates, I think, that McCullough is also a master teacher. I keep wondering: Did I learn any of this in school? (I am forgetful, so I can't entirely blame my former teachers), but I do know that I have never appreciated the struggle and heroic significance of the Revolutionary War: like too many of my peers, I thought the Revolution was a rather distant part of American history that "just happened" and "oh, yeah, from which we all benefited." I will never view history in this lackadaisical manner again.
This book left me wishing for "1777". It is a great novel by a great writer that captivates the imagination of the history buff in me. Lots of behind the scenes detail that the average person does not consider when remembering the founding of the U.S.A.
I read Washington's Crossing before reading 1776. 1776 reads like an Abridged version of Washington's Crossing. A solid read about a critical period of this country's history. For those looking for a general overview of the time period this book is perfect. For those looking for a detailed account of the period I would suggest Washington's Crossing as well. There were some interesting details that 1776 included that I didn't get in Washington's Crossing. Perhaps the most interesting was Washington's meeting with the British 2nd in command shortly before the start of the New York campaign. I surely wish I could have been present at that meeting. Hearing the account in the book, you feel like the air could have been cut with a knife.
I am definitely a "sneezer" when it comes to 1776. I can not quit talking about this book and about what this history means to me. If you wnat a lesson on perseverance, this is the right book!David McCullough brings the Revolutionary War right in your living room. The way McCullough writes, you feel as though you have been placed right in the middle of everything that was going on in 1776. GET THIS BOOK!!!!!!
I absolutely could not stop listening to this book (wrapped it up in 5 days). I learned a ton about George Washington and, more importantly, the other players of 1776. Really good stuff.
Thoroughly enjoyed David McCullough's book and narration. Having only a cursory knowledge of the Revolutionary War this was a great introduction that shined a light of reality on the bigger than life George Washington.
This is the first book I've read/listened to by Mr. McCullough, and now I understand what all of the fuss is about. He has a knack for drawing together the right details at just the right moments to bring the story alive, and help you to understand its importance to the people who lived it and the ramifications that it has for today. Five stars for the story.
Mr. McCullough is a fine narrator, though there are others who narrate audiobooks for a living who probably would have done an even better job. 3.5 stars for the narration.
great narrative. It succeeds in placing you in the perspective of one viewing the events without the benifit of the knowledge of the outcome. And by exuming this sliver of time one understands that it was our finest hour, our 1939 when we stood for the most part alone against the superpower of the world, till all relized how serious and devoted we were to this newly born cause of freedom.
This is very good, relatively light & short, critical history. It is not enormously scholarly (I imagine that the paper volume is short on footnotes & bibliography), but it is in the inimitable McCullough tradition -- well-written, well-paced, not excessively fawning or deliberately breast-beating patriotic (in contrast to the late Stephen Ambrose's approach to just about everything), contains a good mixture of narrative, analysis & criticism, and helps the reader understand (both "novice" and the historiographers among us) the implications of what happened. An excellent complement to this work, also enormously readable but with a greater claim on original scholarship, is David Hackett Fischer's "Washington's Crossing," which is available on Audible as well. McCullough himself is the narrator, and he reads with vigor & emphasis, helping things move along.
This is a wonderful book. 1776 was an amazing year and the author captures the events and action with so much detail that its like he was there. I learned a lot about the revolutionary war - things I would have never learned in school. One thing that I found particularly interesting was how there were so many coincidences leading to wins or gains for the continental army. It was amazing how many times things looked like they were just about done for Washington's army only to see them turn around (sometimes overnight). I think that 1776 surprised everyone - including Washington himself. It was a great lesson in never giving up! Great read and I highly recommend for anyone - not just history buffs.