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1776 | [David McCullough]

1776

Why we think it’s a great listen: If you ever thought history was boring, David McCullough’s performance of his fascinating book will change your mind. In this stirring audiobook, McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: McCullough has multiple Pulitzers and an AudioFile Earphones Award for a reason. His journalistically rich account is perfectly paired with his pleasant and matter-of-fact narrative tone, revealing the complicated realities of the most pivotal year in American history. If you are even slightly interested in the Revolutionary War, then this is a must-listen. —Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

In this stirring audiobook, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Narration by the Author
  • 2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award, Nonfiction

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (4590 )
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4.3 (1781 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Julia Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, United States 07-13-05
    Julia Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, United States 07-13-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
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    29
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    "Slow. Uninspired reading."

    I listened to this book with high expectations. Unfortunatetly I was very disappointed. David McCullough reminds me of a grandfather plodding through his reading. The book seems to be 90% excerpts from letters whose language though interesting can be a chore to decipher. It is somewhat hard to keep track of whether he is talking about the British side or American side because all of the names are so common - Lee, Clinton, Green, Reed. There is little explanation as to the role of the Continental Congress in the proceedings. A lot of the writing seems repetitive. Though an interesting topic, I was pretty bored throughout.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan Totowa, NJ, USA 09-22-09
    Brendan Totowa, NJ, USA 09-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    "Excellent"

    Made the dreaded drive to and from work go by quickly

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jude Huntsville , AL, USA 01-16-08
    Jude Huntsville , AL, USA 01-16-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    7
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    "Excellent"

    Great book, a very different image of Washington than that precieved by many of this generation.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Genry 12-08-07
    T. Genry 12-08-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    106
    4
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    "New Reader Please"

    The book may be a good book, but it was almost impossible to listen to as read by the author. Great authors are seldom great readers and great readers are seldom great writers. Unfortunately for this book, that was the case - the great author was a very mediocre reader.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    isaac Boulder, CO, United States 10-21-05
    isaac Boulder, CO, United States 10-21-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very accessible history"

    I listened to this one on a recomendation. I don't normally pick history but he did a very good job of bringing characters to the history, and not just that of Washington himself. I was educated and engrossed.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Poughkeepsie, NY, USA 08-11-09
    Andrew Poughkeepsie, NY, USA 08-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    35
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    "Bad reader"

    Monotone voice. I gave up listening to the book.The author should have let a professional read the book.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave WI, USA 08-16-05
    Dave WI, USA 08-16-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not credible history?"

    I thought this book was a good read, interesting and a new perspective. What I didn't know was taht the author was criticised for fabricating historical evidence for some of his controversial matter. If you want an interesting audio book, its good, but if you're interested in pure history, maybe you
    should look at another author. I had a web site listed where the author's facts are brought into question, but that's not allowed in a review, so look into it yourself. I believe a book that is historical non-fiction should not have elements of fiction in it, unless that is listed as its purpose.


    8 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-20-11
    Michael Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-20-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Not what I thought"
    What disappointed you about 1776?

    This books reads like a high school history book. There is no real story. Additionally, the author doesn't provide any good insights into the people and culture of the time. He just strung together facts and dates.


    What was most disappointing about David McCullough’s story?

    There are no real insights. I am about a third into the book and it's like listening to someone read Wikipedia.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator/author reads flatly, droning on and on. Because there are so many names and places involved in the retelling this piece of history, it's hard to keep track of characters by listening. This is not a book I would recommend that anyone LISTEN to. If you must read it, buy a real book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Bethesda, MD, United States 03-23-10
    Nancy Bethesda, MD, United States 03-23-10
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    "Excellent! Wonderful narration."

    As so many other reviewers have said and as any true audiobook enthusiast (i.e. commuter) knows, a narrator can make or break a book. I have turned off many a truly good book because the narrator was just too grating. But in this case, it is our great good fortune that the author of this book is also perfectly suited to reading it.

    Having recently learned that my ancestors were great American Patriots and Revolutionary War Soldiers, I wanted to learn, and learn I did through this fascinating account.

    Thank you, thank you, Mr. McCullough. I was only too sorry to hear you sign off. God bless.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Indianapolis, IN, USA 09-23-05
    Michael Indianapolis, IN, USA 09-23-05
    ratings
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    8
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    "McCullough's Voice is the Best"

    If you enjoy history - no one does it better than David McCullough. He has that million dollar voice & delivery that keeps you interested in what can be a very detailed episode in the Revolutionary War. His indepth research of the real human beings, their struggles and their triumphs, makes it a worthwhile experience. Bravo Mr. McCullough!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Tom
    West Wickham, United Kingdom
    4/29/09
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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