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.
David McCullough is a national treasure. His passion for this subject is obvious. If you are not up to speed on the founding of this nation, I highly recommend 1776 as a starting point. The material is not scholarly, yet accurate and precise. This is very easy to listen to, informative, and quite entertaining. If you like McCullough, you'll want to hear this.
Well researched and presented, this story of one of the greatest Americans, gives us a glimpse of the man as he was, with warts and blemishes. It is also interesting to relearn how the revolution was not supported by all Americans and how nearly we lost it all if not for Washington's steadfastness and some good luck.
Reading this book made me realize how little I knew about the details of the struggle that created our nation. While the book is long, it doesn't feel like it as McCullough works his way through the days of 1776 with a compelling mixture of historical fact and details about characters both large and small.
The main downside to this book in my mind is that there is no follow-up titles to cover the years 1778, 1779, and beyond with a similir level of detail and intrigue.
I really enjoyed how the author brought the story of a most critical year in the revolution to his audience. The reading quietly portrayed the author's enthusiasm for the subject.
McCullough has done it again! His talent of making the 18th century live in our hearts and minds is truly a gift. From the very first chapter, where we see the regal splendor of King George, you can swee the world of our forefathers. Splendid reading and/or listening.