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 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 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 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 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.
This is very good, relatively light & short, critical history. It is not enormously scholarly (I imagine that the paper volume is short on footnotes & bibliography), but it is in the inimitable McCullough tradition -- well-written, well-paced, not excessively fawning or deliberately breast-beating patriotic (in contrast to the late Stephen Ambrose's approach to just about everything), contains a good mixture of narrative, analysis & criticism, and helps the reader understand (both "novice" and the historiographers among us) the implications of what happened. An excellent complement to this work, also enormously readable but with a greater claim on original scholarship, is David Hackett Fischer's "Washington's Crossing," which is available on Audible as well. McCullough himself is the narrator, and he reads with vigor & emphasis, helping things move along.
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.
"Absorbing and well narrated"
David Mccullough is a fine popular historian; his books are always enjoyable and informative. He has a knack of combining the big picture with the stories and experiences of those who were going though it at the time, and weaving it all into a tremendous narrative. The book focuses on the first year of the American revolution - not the whole history - and paints a vivid and absorbing picture of just how close things came to disaster for Washington and his rather raggle-taggle army,and how they dug themselves out of the mire - stirring stuff.
My only bugbear - and it's nothing to do with the book itself - is that it is frustrating sometimes listening to history books where the content is to do with military exploits, and that is one wishes for a map! I am not all that familiar with american geography so kept rushing to an atlas so that I could better keep track of what was going on. But dont let this put you off what is a fine and enjoyable book - very well narrated by the author himself.
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