Sorry, I have been to the Hearst Castle several times and was truly looking forward to this book. Unfortunately the reader is the worst I've ever heard. Do yourself a favor and listen to some excerpts first. He reads way to fast and with a completely dispassionate tone.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I can't understand the reviews that find this book boring. If this is boring then perhaps a mystery novel is more to your liking. There is nothing boring at all about this remarkable period in our history. I think Joseph Ellis did a great job weaving the stories together. He also does a very good job of setting the scene and context of the events so that you can better appreciate the outcome and what drove many of the debates. The best part of the entire book is the last section on the correspondence between Jefferson and Adams in their later years. The only reason I didn't give the review five stars was I felt that the book doesn't really do justice to Alexander Hamilton. Selecting the dual with Aaron Burr as the story that addresses him I think misses the critical contributions he made during the Washington Administration in the 1790's creating the foundations of public finance. While not exciting for some, it nevertheless was critical to the underpinnings of the country at that crucial juncture.
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.
This book provides an extremely detailed account of the Fall and Winter campaign of 1776-77. I really enjoyed the incorporation of letters and accounts from both American and British sources. One of the things that a read of this detail does is to illustrate how fragile and tenuous victory can be. The efforts of a handful of man often can turn the tide of an event that in turn cascades the outcome of other events. You don't get that perspective unless you get into the detail. It was fascinating for example to read the accounts of how the New Jersey militia did such great work in harrasing the Hessians in the days leading to Battle of Trenton. By the time the Continental Army arrived the Hessians were exhausted from the lack of sleep from being in a continuous state of high alert. All in all a very good book.
This was my first foreray into the world of audiobooks and I don't think I could of made a better choice. I am fascinated by Early American History and Ron Chernow has done all of us a wonderful favor in producing an exhaustively researched account of one of the most important figures in our history. This is a must read for anyone having interest in researching our founding fathers. While detailed, there isn't any part that I could imagine being left out.
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