There are so many amazing facts, contradictions, things we just didn't know about the American Revolution that are either amazing, horrifying, or just left out of the story. Washington indecisive? The British troops' red coats were generally tattered? King George was not such a bad guy? Tell me more Mr. McCullough, your gentle, knowing voice has my ear.
I discovered David McCullogh from his interviews and narration on Ken Burns' The Civil War mini-series. I was ready to delve into some historical listening and saw that David narrated his book. I loved it. David's telling of this pivotal year in the war for independence was great. I highly recommend it. The only think I would complain about is that after the end of the book I was ready for David to tell me about the rest of the war. In other words, he did his job well!
They were all good.
No but I enjoyed it all.
Buy this audio book!
As one of the best
The historical aspect
He did a wonderful job
That would be very unusual in that it is rather long
One of the best historical novels that I have listened to in a very long time. It will hold your interest and keep you coming back for more.
Addicted to reading traditional books. Overwhelmed by backlog of books to read. If it's early Americana then I want it.
A book that could be read and heard once a year. A unique masterpiece!
McCullough brings forth many main players of the Revolution from both sides of the engagement.
McCullough brings a warm, secure, and comforting voice to the book. His unique voice compliments his engaging writing style. It literally brings the words to a completely elevated level.
This is a book interesting to someone unfamiliar with the history of the American revolution. The title is very literal, it goes over events only in the one year. The story is told well, but if you know the highlights already this book isn't detailed enough to throw any more light on the events. However if you are unfamiliar with the early days of the American nation then this is a great place to start.
1776 is a story told of that year through historical references, letters, first-hand accounts, and other historical texts on the subject. The author does a great job of not only showing you those resources but also highlighting when there are still un-resolved elements or controversy about what really happened.
I found myself being drawn in to the military strategy of the major engagements often spending an extra 10 minutes in the driveway hearing them play out. The sense of unknown and uncertainty is such an important part of the narrative that is often missed about that time period.
I'm going to try to be honest here, because I think this is an important book that deserves to be read. That said, I think there were a few production issues, and you might want to consider them before you decide whether or not to purchase as an audio book or read the text. So here we go...
Once you've read about this time period, you'll find yourself wondering why on earth you never learned about it while in grade school? Not just because it's important to understand our roots, but also because it's damn good entertainment.
You might be disappointed if you are looking for a more personal telling of the events in America during 1776, but instead find a straight recitation of battles and troop movements. That said, McCullough does sprinkle in a fair amount of quotes from correspondence in this telling, for which I'm very grateful. Still, many times I found myself wishing he would explain the context of a decision or delved a little deeper. If you're a history nut who knows a bit about the subject, you may find yourself wondering why the author chose to leave certain things out. What the author did choose to include was fantastic.
Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair in my assessment. Looking back, the dry nature of the book could easily be chalked up to the publisher's choice to have the author narrate it. McCullough has a very pleasant voice- almost too pleasant. I found myself drifting off a few times and thinking of other things while he read from his book with little intonation at all, regardless of whether or not he was reading from dialog or a battle scene.
Do you remember in school when the class was asked to read from the textbook? And the toneless monotone everyone used? Oh yes. Exactly like that.
There was nothing grating or annoying about his reading, it was simply forgettable. Easily tuned out. Easy to be distracted by other matters while you're listening to it and suddenly you realize you haven't heard a word of what happened in the last five minutes or so and now you need to rewind a bit.
Even worse, in the middle of a paragraph or statement, the narrator suddenly goes silent for 10 seconds or more. The audiobook is still playing, but the editors have left huge gaps of dead-air in the middle of the book. It happened at least once a chapter and I always found myself looking over at my smart-phone to make sure everything was working properly, when suddenly it would start up again. It was really annoying.
It's a shame 1776 was produced in this way, because looking back at the whole of the book, I think it was well worth a read, even worth owning a hard copy on the bookshelf. I suppose that's something for me to keep in mind the next time I notice a historical text narrated by the author.
I started out reading the book and got the audio version for a long drive. I enjoyed it so much I continued exclusively with the audio. McCullough has an excellent cadence.
Any other history book by McCollough or Ambrose. Deep history worked excellently into an enjoyable story. You can dig in and absorb the facts or listen casually and enjoy the superb narrative.
His inflection highlights some points you might otherwise breeze over. With the dense amount of information, you might sometimes find yourself zoning out, understanding the plot but not grasping some of the most interesting details of the story. His voice flags those moments and makes for a fuller experience.
I listened to it continuously on an 8 hour drive.
I love reading or listening to anything that David McCullough presents. He is truly one of the best if not the best historians and writers of the second half of the 20th century. Having that rare gift of being able to write a book and then read it as only he can do. Having studied the Civil War and the Revolutionary war extensively, this one year 1776 was filled with many many events which were recorded, however yet were not realized in their significance to launch the Americas into a war with Great Britain. This book explains in detail every event in 1776 which took us down that road to independence.
Runner, Commuter, Dietitian with a passion for U.S. History.
David McCullough is one of the great American history authors of our time, but I had no idea of his skills as a narrator. Sympathetic portrayal of Washington's early days in the Revolutionary war. McCullough does not gloss over the bad decisions but his reading provides a nuanced portrait of Washington's and the Continental Army's weaknesses as well as how they learned from them. Terrific experience that kept me on the edge of my seat, even though I knew all of the outcomes.