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)
The crossing of the Delaware stands out, in no small part because of its historical importance.
Yes. It strikes me as astronomically improbable that one person could both compose and perform such a captivating historical narrative. Bravo Mr. McCullough.
1776 combines the factual content of the best non-fiction with the compelling narrative of the best fiction. Expertly read by the author, I recommend this book extremely highly!
Many of the details of the war for independence which I had forgotten or never knew. Told with all the flaws of the participants, this left me more amazed that the war was started and that it was won. Having the author narrate makes sure emphasis and tone translate well.
Since I love reading so much, I wasn't sure if I'd like this. Great experience!!!! I love hearing Mr. McCullough read and this book was so thoroughly engaging that even my disinterested-in-history 13 year old sister would grab for one of my headphones when she realized that I was listening to it. Thank you, Sir, for your excellent writing and narrative.
As laymen we tend to view history as almost immutably preordained. As Americans we are largely ahistorical in our political, societal and even our military sensibilities and decision-making, especially compared to our European cousins.
We approach key moments or periods in our history as though the outcomes were never really in doubt. A significant feature of everyone of David McCullough' history I've read so far is his ability to usurp my imagination and to transport me into the mileau of whatever time, people and events about which he's writing so that I can/must experience them existentially: Arguments must be weighed. Options considered. Decisions made. All done with the outcomes in doubt.
David McCullough is an historian, who writes like a gifted novelist. The pace of his story may quicken or temper. Emotions may intensify and then resolve. Situations may become threatening or they may become cloudy with choices unclear. Soldiers and their officers may experience frustration, fear, excitement, elation, anger, homesickness, boredom, depression, panic, despair and satisfaction -- all within the minutes or house of a single engagement -- and the writer's genius is his ability to drag me onto the emotional, intellectual and visceral roller-coaster ride that those men (mostly) took -- not always willingly -- during that critical year.
I learned a lot of details about the path to independence that I never fully knew or appreciated! I liked the narrator. Great read for history enthusiasts
This might be the best book I've ever read. Spellbinding and hugely engrossing. A wonderful and descriptive narrative a our founding father, Washington.
I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.
I really enjoyed this book - I am a bit of a history nut, and it goes without saying this is a huge event in history. Frankly, I could have lived without some of the recitation of the addresses to Parliament and the long letters that were read, but I found the rest of it to be quite fascinating. I guess when I bought it, I never realized that it only covered the beginning of the war through 1776, so when it ended, I was left a bit frustrated. Even though I know what happened, I want to hear McCullough tell it. His sources and investigations are so thorough and it brings those who fought in this war to life. Perhaps a 1777 is coming in the future?
"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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