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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.

Critic Reviews

  • 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

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  • Overall
  • Jason
  • Mercer Island, WA, USA
  • 07-15-05


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.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

a great approach to telling a great story

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book and easy listening

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.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Byron
  • Tallahassee, FL, United States
  • 07-14-12

Book is Slightly Misnamed

You would think a book entitled 1776 would be about the seminal event of 1776, the Declaration of Independence. But you would be wrong. This book is about the Fight for Independence in 1776, focusing entirely on the revolutionary war from a military and strategic perspective, with only reference to the Declaration of Independence as it affected the battles.

Having recently read Ron Chernow's very good and thorough book on Washington, this book covered much of the same ground for the year in question, except that it gave much more detail to the fateful battle for Brooklyn and Long Island, and also gave some interesting insight into the British declarations by the King about the rebellions.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

An excellent read.

I'm more of a Civil War history buff, but this rendering of Revolutionary War history had me hooked the entire time I was reading it. The author puts you on location so well, you can almost feel the snow between your toes at Valley Forge, and almost smell the grass and gun fire during battles.

A very easy, educational, and interesting read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brian
  • Columbus, GA, USA
  • 04-02-09


If you have read any professional reviews of this book then you already know what I am about to say. Riveting tale that has been brought to life in a way that any writer would envy and any reader will enjoy. Should be required reading in every High School in the United States. Also, this book should be required reading for any writer of history wanting to hone their skills of making antiquity seem new again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • Covington, GA, USA
  • 03-26-08


Good book. Moves quickly throughout and is very well written. Additionally, this book involves extensive research and is quite insightful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eunice
  • Harrodsburg, KY, United States
  • 01-16-08

Absolute excellence!

David McCullough is definitely the "go-to" man for American history. 1776 is well researched, entertaining, and well read. The original American freedom fighters were an interesting bunch...rather different from the stick-figure heroes we learned about in grade school! Highly recommend!!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joanne
  • Two Rivers, WI, USA
  • 12-29-07

Excellent audio interpretation

I enjoyed this audiobook thoroughly. I read the hardcopy first and the audiobook was a better experience in every way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • MENLO PARK, CA, United States
  • 12-22-07

Excellent as usual

Really enjoyed this as I have most of Mccullough's books. Incredibly thorough in his history and his writing, and a wonderful narrator, my only disappointment is I wanted it to continue! I wish he had a book like this for EVERY year of the Revolution---I'd read them!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful