Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats, who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost: Washington, who had never before led an army in battle.
The darkest hours of that tumultuous year were as dark as any Americans have known. Especially in our own tumultuous time, 1776 is powerful testimony to how much is owed to a rare few in that brave founding epoch, and what a miracle it was that things turned out as they did.
Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough's 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.
©2005 David McCullough; (P)2005 Simon and Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.
"A first-rate historical account." (Booklist)
"A narrative tour de force, exhibiting all the hallmarks the author is known for: fascinating subject matter, expert research, and detailed, graceful prose....Simply put, this is history writing at its best from one of its top practitioners." (Publishers Weekly)
"A stirring and timely work, reminding us that it's soldiers rather than 'tavern patriots and windy politicians' who have always paid the price of American idealism and determined its successes. (The New York Times)
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.
I am definitely a "sneezer" when it comes to 1776. I can not quit talking about this book and about what this history means to me. If you wnat a lesson on perseverance, this is the right book!David McCullough brings the Revolutionary War right in your living room. The way McCullough writes, you feel as though you have been placed right in the middle of everything that was going on in 1776. GET THIS BOOK!!!!!!
I don't have a good natural head for history--I tend to get easily bogged down in details and lose track of who's who, where, what, and other essentials. McCullough may be my favorite historian because he essentially solves these issues for me, and seems to view the story and essential lessons it provides as the primary purpose in sharing a history.
For historical purists, no fear: McCollough has all the scholarship and hard data your heart may desire; his talent seems to be that he includes all that without making it the main focus. After reading/listening to this book, I'm eager to listen to it again and actually learn some of the harder data--which indicates, I think, that McCullough is also a master teacher. I keep wondering: Did I learn any of this in school? (I am forgetful, so I can't entirely blame my former teachers), but I do know that I have never appreciated the struggle and heroic significance of the Revolutionary War: like too many of my peers, I thought the Revolution was a rather distant part of American history that "just happened" and "oh, yeah, from which we all benefited." I will never view history in this lackadaisical manner again.
This book left me wishing for "1777". It is a great novel by a great writer that captivates the imagination of the history buff in me. Lots of behind the scenes detail that the average person does not consider when remembering the founding of the U.S.A.
I absolutely could not stop listening to this book (wrapped it up in 5 days). I learned a ton about George Washington and, more importantly, the other players of 1776. Really good stuff.
Thoroughly enjoyed David McCullough's book and narration. Having only a cursory knowledge of the Revolutionary War this was a great introduction that shined a light of reality on the bigger than life George Washington.
This is a wonderful book. 1776 was an amazing year and the author captures the events and action with so much detail that its like he was there. I learned a lot about the revolutionary war - things I would have never learned in school. One thing that I found particularly interesting was how there were so many coincidences leading to wins or gains for the continental army. It was amazing how many times things looked like they were just about done for Washington's army only to see them turn around (sometimes overnight). I think that 1776 surprised everyone - including Washington himself. It was a great lesson in never giving up! Great read and I highly recommend for anyone - not just history buffs.
This is the first book I've read/listened to by Mr. McCullough, and now I understand what all of the fuss is about. He has a knack for drawing together the right details at just the right moments to bring the story alive, and help you to understand its importance to the people who lived it and the ramifications that it has for today. Five stars for the story.
Mr. McCullough is a fine narrator, though there are others who narrate audiobooks for a living who probably would have done an even better job. 3.5 stars for the narration.
great narrative. It succeeds in placing you in the perspective of one viewing the events without the benifit of the knowledge of the outcome. And by exuming this sliver of time one understands that it was our finest hour, our 1939 when we stood for the most part alone against the superpower of the world, till all relized how serious and devoted we were to this newly born cause of freedom.
Once again David McCullough has produced a masterpiece. In 1776, he traces the origins of the American Rebellion in the years leading up to the outbreak of fighting in 1775. In April 1775, the militia in Concord fought back the British regulars and as the British soldiers retreated back towards Boston. More and more militia joined the attack and the British retreat turned into a rout. At the end of the day the British soldiers were besieged in the city of Boston. In June the British soldiers attacked the Rebel fortifications on Breed's Hill. They carried the field, but suffered about 1,000 casualties. This put an end to any attempt by the British Army to break out of Boston. In July, George Washington took command of the newly named Continental Army and began to organize it. The year 1775, ended with the British entrenched in Boston, but unable to leave.
In March 1776, the British finally gave up the city of Boston and sailed away. Washington suspected that their next target would be New York. He moved his army from Boston to New York where they began to prepare for the defense of the city. In the city of Philadelphia the decision had finally been reached to declare independence from Great Britain. The news was met with much rejoicing by the army in New York. They were no longer fighting a rebellion against the King of England. Now they were soldiers fighting for a nation of their own. The British began to arrive in New York in July. In August the American army was pushed off of Long Island. By September it had been pushed out of the rest of New York. Then came the long retreat. In December, with his army starting to fall apart, Washington decided to risk it all on an attack of the Hessian garrison at Trenton. The battle was a success and the Continental army had it's first major victory. A week later the Americans successfully attacked the British forces at Princeton. These two victories gave the army the encouragement that it needed to keep fighting.
McCullough's writing is always masterful. He understands how to use language to engage the reader throughout. One of his great strengths is bringing these historical characters to life. George Washington is the pivotal character in the book. A man who had never commanded an army in battle Washington made a number of poor choices in the New York campaign. He would learn from his mistakes over time. We also see the great commanders Nathaniel Greene and Henry Knox. These two men would serve through the war and would be crucial supporters of Washington. We also get to see the rank and file soldier like Joseph P. Martin. It was the courage of these men and thousands like them that helped to create the United States of America. If you have not read this book then do yourself a favor and read it.
David McCullough narrates this book which makes it even more enjoyable to listen to. My first experience with McCullough dated back to when he used to narrate documentaries for Ken Burns. His voice is always a delight to listen to.
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