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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.… (mehr)
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Non-fiction history of the year 1776, a pivotal year in the American Revolution. McCullough focuses on the prominent leaders, both British and American, and we get a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses. It contains descriptions of each military target, the strategic objectives, how the engagement ensued, and its outcome. After reading this book, I am astounded that the Americans won, as they severely lacked weapons, powder, money, troops, experience, discipline, and leadership. One of the strengths of the book is showing how the leaders of the Continental Army, particularly George Washington and his top staff, learned hard lessons early, and applied them in later battles. The author provides balance by going into depth on the personal traits of the British leaders and why they made certain decisions. He also shows how the actions of the many loyalists assisted them. The main detractor, for me, was the abrupt ending. I realize he was focusing on just one year, but the ending summarizes seven years into a few paragraphs. The author has done an incredible amount of research, as documented in the footnotes, bibliography, and acknowledgements. The images at the end were helpful. Recommended to readers of history-related non-fiction or anyone that wants to learn more about the American Revolution. ( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Bibliography: p. 347. Includes index.
  TorontoOratorySPN | Aug 31, 2022 |
This is the first piece of work I have read by this Author and it exceeded all my expectations. As with most narratives concerning well know historical facts, mast educated readers already know the way things turn out before they even start the book; but with this one that doesn’t really matter as the Author does a skilful job at keeping the reader hooked right to the bitter end.

By choosing this one year in history, as opposed to cramming in everything he possibly can about this pivotal period of time for America, the Author is easily able to described the unfolding events not only in a way that turns this history book from dry and brittle to interesting and captivating, they are able to follow the events in a logical chronological order that is easy to follow for even the most novice of readers.

Although this book was initially a narrative about the Continental Army from Bunker Hill to its victory at Trenton, the book could quite easily been a biography about George Washington. The Author paints a portrait of Washington that is not the usual fodder a reader comes across when reading about this man. As expected he is shown as a man of faith and with exemplary leadership skills while at the same time showing he was just a man with normal traits such as feelings of self-doubt especially after the defeats at Brooklyn and Fort Washington. Not content with revealing this all too human side of the man the Author through extensive research shows that two of Washington’s closest generals, General Charles Lee and Joseph Reed, lost a great deal of confidence in him after the Continental Army's retreat across the Hudson. With all the background provided it is easier for the reader to paint a more realistic picture of Washington, and although I felt I could connect with the man there were also parts of his personality that came through in the Authors writing that made me feel mighty uncomfortable when he was in the room.

Surprisingly, in a book on this topic, not everything is about the Continental Army, and its driving of the Redcoats from America: this Author also gives over a large portion of their book to the personalities, actions and motivations of the King’s Army. By doing this a book is written that gives a well rounded account of events that happened in this year, and possibly why the Continental Army was victorious.

I could write for hours on this book, but then this would turn from a review into a possible thesis, and also negate any reason for someone to read this. It is a book well worth spending time with, and I would highly recommend it to any lovers of this time period and all historical nonfiction readers in general.

Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.com/2014/07/04/review-1776-david-mccullough/




This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
( )
  Melline | Aug 13, 2022 |
An interesting look at 1776 because it is not only based on known facts, but also personal letters, diary entries and other notes. These are not only taken from the British, but also from the American side and there not only from famous key persons, but also from normal people in the ranks of both armies.

Though other factors contributed to the eventual outcome, even this first year of the war shows how severely the British underestimated the 'rebels' and missed several opportunities of ending the war in its early stages.

Additionally the very distributed American forces were getting more united after severe misbehavior by British and Hessian troops against the civilian population.

All in all an interesting read, which did not quite grip me, but to which I always enjoyed coming back. ( )
  sdkasper | Jul 15, 2022 |
Yay for story-like history! The book managed to just miss going into enough detail about the boring bits of battles to bore me. Instead, there were lots of bits about people. But yes, good book. Fun read.
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |

In his exhaustively researched and highly accessible new book, "1776," best-selling historian David McCullough (two-time Pulitzer winner for "John Adams" and "Truman") follows the Continental Army through a single, fateful year, one filled with surprise victories, stunning reversals, perilous midnight retreats and pure, grind-it-out perseverance. It's a story filled with drama, and McCullough shows himself once again to be among our nation's great storytellers.
 
In his new book, ''1776,'' David McCullough brings to bear on this momentous year the narrative gifts he's demonstrated in such absorbing histories as ''The Great Bridge'' and ''The Path Between the Seas.'' As a history of the American Revolution, it is an oddly truncated volume: pivotal developments leading to the revolution like the Stamp Act, which happen to fall outside the perimeters of Mr. McCullough's rigid time frame, are not examined, and subsequent installments of the war (which would continue on after the Trenton-Princeton campaign for another half-dozen harrowing years) are ignored as well.
hinzugefügt von MikeBriggs | bearbeitenNew York Times, Michiko Kakutani (May 24, 2005)
 
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Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages. —General George Washington
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For Rosalee Barnes McCullough
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On the afternoon of Thursday, October 26, 1775, His Royal Majesty George III, King of England, rode in royal splendor from St. James's Palace to the Palace of Westminster, there to address the opening of Parliament on the increasingly distressing issue of war in America.
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http://lccn.loc.gov/2005042505 . Please distinguish among, and do not combine:

Peter H. Hunt's film, 1776 (1972);
David McCullough's complete Work, 1776 (sometimes subtitled, "American and Britain at War," 2005);
the abridged audiobook, on 5 discs (2005; there's also one or more unabridged audio); and
McCullough's abridgment, 1776: The Illustrated Edition (2007).

Thank you.
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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.

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