This is the way history books should be written. A minimum of ideological commentary is used while the writer uses mostly letters and diary accounts to describe this pivotal year in a most fascinating way.
This is a fabulous book! Accurate history and easy to listen to, with the inside details taken from personal letters. Give us insight into how the key players, American and British, felt before and during the war. Amazing details, watch the blunders of the young American army, from short enlistments to poor strategic decisions and the impact of all on the outcome. The British cockey assurance they could win the war with ease and the large number of loyalists who openly supported the British. Amazing how close we came to loosing this war and not getting our independence! The recording itself is very good with clear diction - easy to listen to.
Listening to Mr. McCullough read 1776 brings the story of the Revolution to life. Are we SURE that he was not there to see it happen?
I thought this was a good book. I learned a good deal historically, so much so I was a bit disappointed when it ended there was so much more story to be told. That, however, did not loss of a star. I don't know what it was I just felt it to be 4 out of 5 stars - I would recommend this book.
This is a great book by one of the great popular historians of our day. It's depth of detail and insight into Washington the man makes this a very robust book. However, I felt the author's choice to restrict the book to the events of a single year was too constraining for my taste. For those like me who want to know more, I recommend following 1776 with D.H. Fischer's excellent "Washington's Crossing" that covers the events of late 1776 into early 1777 in detail with very little overlap.
His voice makes you love to listen even if it wasn't a great history lesson, which is beautifully and accurately written. Gives a very clear and accurate picture of the situations during a year of anxiety, chaos, fear and heroism under the most dire circumstances.
I would really give more 4.5. Really deep, well-researched history that one can still stand to listen to. Not much political ax grinding here, at least that I can sense. More, this is the way these events really happened, and from what we have on the people involved, this is what they thought about, and what they were like as people. Men/people were truly giants then, although they were still people. Beyond the history channel. Closer to a graduate level history lecture, by a mesmerizing professor. The reason I did not give it a 5, is that it is not all that easy to listen to. It takes some work. But this is really the nature of this kind of book, not a fault of this particular book. Wonderful stuff. Kids should read this in high school instead of the history texts I have seen. It would be a better and more meaingful picture.
It was a sad moment when this book ended. I enjoyed this selection more than any of the 20 other selections I have listened to. The author paints a picture of our American heros in a way that I never learned in a history class. Their strengths, their weaknesses, their ambitions, their victories, their total failures, their struggles......... The author/narrator has a very pleasing voice although he might have sped up the narration just a little bit.
If you have any interest in the characters and battles leading to the formation of the United States this is a great listen.
The book is great -- a concise look at the war during the year 1776 with enough before and after to understand the context of that momentous 365 days. The story is filled with clear descriptions of the battles, tactics and emotions that were experienced by those involved (who wrote letters and diary entries often). The reader (the author) is good and the story will entertain you. I especially enjoyed looking at some of the online sources of Revolutionary War maps while I listened -- you can see the tactics on paper as they are being described. If you like stories about war, our forefathers, or history in general, buy it and listen.