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 really enjoyed how the author brought the story of a most critical year in the revolution to his audience. The reading quietly portrayed the author's enthusiasm for the subject.
McCullough has done it again! His talent of making the 18th century live in our hearts and minds is truly a gift. From the very first chapter, where we see the regal splendor of King George, you can swee the world of our forefathers. Splendid reading and/or listening.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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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