Many of the details of the war for independence which I had forgotten or never knew. Told with all the flaws of the participants, this left me more amazed that the war was started and that it was won. Having the author narrate makes sure emphasis and tone translate well.
Since I love reading so much, I wasn't sure if I'd like this. Great experience!!!! I love hearing Mr. McCullough read and this book was so thoroughly engaging that even my disinterested-in-history 13 year old sister would grab for one of my headphones when she realized that I was listening to it. Thank you, Sir, for your excellent writing and narrative.
As laymen we tend to view history as almost immutably preordained. As Americans we are largely ahistorical in our political, societal and even our military sensibilities and decision-making, especially compared to our European cousins.
We approach key moments or periods in our history as though the outcomes were never really in doubt. A significant feature of everyone of David McCullough' history I've read so far is his ability to usurp my imagination and to transport me into the mileau of whatever time, people and events about which he's writing so that I can/must experience them existentially: Arguments must be weighed. Options considered. Decisions made. All done with the outcomes in doubt.
David McCullough is an historian, who writes like a gifted novelist. The pace of his story may quicken or temper. Emotions may intensify and then resolve. Situations may become threatening or they may become cloudy with choices unclear. Soldiers and their officers may experience frustration, fear, excitement, elation, anger, homesickness, boredom, depression, panic, despair and satisfaction -- all within the minutes or house of a single engagement -- and the writer's genius is his ability to drag me onto the emotional, intellectual and visceral roller-coaster ride that those men (mostly) took -- not always willingly -- during that critical year.
I learned a lot of details about the path to independence that I never fully knew or appreciated! I liked the narrator. Great read for history enthusiasts
This might be the best book I've ever read. Spellbinding and hugely engrossing. A wonderful and descriptive narrative a our founding father, Washington.
I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.
I really enjoyed this book - I am a bit of a history nut, and it goes without saying this is a huge event in history. Frankly, I could have lived without some of the recitation of the addresses to Parliament and the long letters that were read, but I found the rest of it to be quite fascinating. I guess when I bought it, I never realized that it only covered the beginning of the war through 1776, so when it ended, I was left a bit frustrated. Even though I know what happened, I want to hear McCullough tell it. His sources and investigations are so thorough and it brings those who fought in this war to life. Perhaps a 1777 is coming in the future?
Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!
I'm glad I was inspired to rescue this from my personal backlist. When this first came out, I read a page or two and did not connect with it. I loved Zane Grey's George Washington, and I wanted to read about the rebels, the patriots, not about England. This book start slow, but builds and builds with momentum. It's a unique that to me, in that it focuses on a single year, and shows the true hardship of that year. The patriots faced hardships but didn't give up. This book truly demonstrates that large life lesson.
Never knew the specifics of this history, so found the story useful. But found the recounts of who, where, and when a bit tedious. Glad to listen, rather than read, where I could do chores as the slower parts of the war's progress could flow along in the background, and where I could tune in for each of the crucial turning points, which were aptly told. Fans of the history genre may rank this higher than I, given my requirements for history include more sizzle to be palatable.