When we learn about the Revolutionary War in school, it seems like a logical progression with democracy as the inevitable result. But when one is living in a historic time, one moment follows another, and everything could change at any time. The outcome is not sure.
McCullough writes as if the year 1776 is a work in progress. I find his style memorable and delightful. As I finished the book, I was thinking, "I don't know which side is actually going to win the war!" Although I've read a lot of American history, McCullough made me feel I was right there, looking over their shoulders, wondering what might happen next.
This book is currently on the Best Seller list. If you are a history buff, you will enjoy it because it is so solidly researched. But it is also written in such a readable way that if you aren't actually into history, you'll enjoy it. Mccullough makes people we have heard about all our lives (like George Washington, for example) come alive. He does such a good job, I didn't want the book to end. I hope Mccullough is going to write a sequel.
For history buffs. This shows the development of events which led to, and into the Revolutionary Way. George Washington is the major character. This is non-fiction and well documented by an award winning historian/
Just an interesting way to slice history - I don't know if it's vertically, or horizontally, or what, but rather than make it about a person, or about one historical phenomenon, make it about a historical phenomenon artificially sliced by year. That appealed to me.
Well, that's not what he did, of course. The book opens in October 1775, with King George III's address to Parliament, and ends in the first days of 1777, with a sprinkling of the British hearing about Washington's year-end successes around Trenton.
It's basically the story of what George Washington did over his summer vacation during 1776, which opened with a siege of Boston (how surreal is that? On January 1, 1776, Boston was occupied by a foreign power, New York was a town on the southern end of 'York Island,' and Vermont was the Wild West), and ended with his freezing, starving army having been chased from one end of New Jersey to the other.
So it's the feel-good, crystalized portion of the miracle of the American Revolution.
If you're into Revolutionary War history at all, you've got to read this. McCullough has this way of writing that uses extensive citations with all the references, but it reads almost like a casual account. It's not like a boring textbook. I couldn't wait to find out what happened to GW next, even though I was already generally familiar with the battles.
After reading several books by David McCullough and enjoying everyone, this book I also found to be excellent. This author does his research well and presents his story in an easy to understand manner. After reading this book I wondered how we ever won the American revolution! We had so much against us! It was a great read!
Focusing on just the title year, one can only marvel that a country free from British rule exists today given the circumstances of the Continental army. having grown up in the northeast, i am familiar with the weather events as described herein and can only wonder at how on earth so many men endured barefoot winter marches! a good read for every American.
This book presents a detailed narrative profiling the year 1776 during the American Revolution. I've read McCullough's "John Adams" and found that to be a much more intriguing read. I don't know why I didn't like this book as much, perhaps because I'm not much into military history or perhaps because I couldn't read this one as continuously as I did John Adams and therefore kept picking this up after long breaks, causing me to forget what I already read. At any rate, McCullough's writing is very accessible, he doesn't assume that the person reading it is a big history buff, and he includes details and background that make it easy for the casual history reader to understand what's happening. He really tried to make sure that he was presenting each event from as many angles as possible, but that might have been what caused it to be a bit of a "sloggy" read. I understand wanting to present both the British and American POVs in something like this, but sometimes it got ridiculously bogged down because EVERYONE's POV was presented- bystanders, the average soldier, the upper-class, etc. Yes, this also makes it very interesting, but it just seemed like a bit much in spots. Still, it is a very worthwhile read for anyone interested in the birth of America.
I really loved this book and I recommend it to anyone interested in the early history of the founding of our country. Written with such passion that you actually feel the elements of what these brave souls endured. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
We have not understood what it took our ancestors to bring this country into being. The suffering, the death of good men, the disease that took so many, the sacrifices that families and individuals made are all covered dramatically and in depth in David McCullough's book on CD. I had not realized that the war went on for six years until I read this book.
This is the most moving rendition of the War for independence I have ever read. It is American history at it's best.
Fantastic book. I really never thought to think of how England thought of the whole "revolutionary war" thing. It's interesting and all most reads like a good old fashioned fictional novel. You won't want to put it down.
This book deals with an interesting topic. It reads often like a textbook, which is understandable, given the subject matter. Well-documented, with little-known information and supporting letter-excerpts, but slow to read.
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.
Read by the author.
I really enjoyed this book, as I have any David McCullough books that I have read. It provides great historical detail about the events of 1776 and the Continental Army. Unfortunately Washington's army spent most of 1776 losing to the British. It wasn't until the last few days of the year, starting with the crossing of the Delaware and victory against the Hessians that the war started turning. The book pretty much ends at the end of 1776 (hence the title), so you don't get much of the good news as the war turned in favor of the Americans. I would be cool if he had gone through the end of the war or added a sequel. Still, I definitely enjoyed and recommend this book.
I had read this book when it first came out. It was given to me as a gift. I swapped it here on Paperbackswap.com and regretted giving it up. The book is an accurate historical read with all important events and people.
If you want a book about the military strategy that the Americans and the British took in the months of the year of 1776, this is your book. If you want more information about the people that were involved, look elsewhere. Overall though it was well written.
Fantastic brief summary of a "slice" of the Revolutionary War. I was already a fan of David McCullough's work and this was excellent as per his usual. I would strongly encourage this book as an introduction to American history (his book John Adams does it much better but in a GREATLY expanded format). Great concept - the book just takes a slice of history (1776)and jumps in there to tell the story of the Revolution. It is obviously just a small part of the whole story, but a pretty darn important part. I would call this light reading (probably the only book I have ever intentionally read twice) as it is immensely readable.
This book is a very informative look at a single year in American history. I liked learning about the British and Loyalist point of view as well as the problems Washington had in keeping the army together. The portraits, letters and the maps also add to the experience.
This nonfiction book takes a detailed look at George Washington and his new army at the beginning of the American Revolution. As I am a more frequent reader of non-fiction, it took me a few chapters to get comfortable with the author's prose. However, the author does a good job developing the characters of the major players in this history, and does not just list dates and facts. The book focuses as much on the question of "what kind of man led this army?" as on the questions of "what battles were important?" I particularly liked how researched this book is. Rather than telling us what David McCullough thinks about George Washington, the author quotes from the diaries and military reports of men and women on both sides of the conflict. I enjoyed this book, and will be looking forward to other history books by this author.
This book made the Revolution come to life. It was well written and interesting. You get to know more about those involved. I would highly recommend it to everyone interested in history or just learning more about our great country.
1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed and the beginning of the Revolutionary War, but oh so much more on the human level. Using history backed up by a variety of sources, David McCullough tells a story about what is left out of the history books. The side-stories and information about people we think we know are what make this book an interesting read.
If you are one who likes to know what is behind the history, you'll enjoy 1776.
David McCullough never disappoints. He is America's historian "par excellence". 1776 is no exception. In dissecting, the events that take place in that one crucial year, using original sources, he clearly shows that what becomes history is not a series of orchestrated events as we sometimes surmise.
A very informative history of the year 1776 written by one of the country's greatest historians. McCullough describes the happenings of this momentous year using manuscripts, diaries, letters, and newspapers to write the story of the founding of our nation. It is history at its best and much easier to read understand than a history textbook. I loved the author's description of the common men as well as the generals in this epic fight. The British had leaders who were able but unable to make decisions without the approval of the King which tied their hands. General Washington, on the other hand, had to deal with Congress and the politic intrigues of that body. it is an easily understood narrative of our struggle for independence that had just begun. I recommend it to anyone who loves history and loves our country.
I was very excited about this book since I loved David McCullough's "John Adams". I couldn't get into this book at all no matter how hard I tried. It is all about the actual war and battles (at least the first 25% - after which I gave up) which doesn't interest me. A little too much battle strategies for my liking.
As much as you know about the founding of the country, you can always learn more and this book served up some great bits of information about the crucial year of 1776. It is still amazing that George Washington was one of the few men that could have lead the rebels to victory and pressure that he was under was truly amazing. Excellent book by the author, as usual and a very informative read.