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America’s beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation’s birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects and that placed America’s survival in the hands of George Washington.

In this masterful book, 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 a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It 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 King’s men, 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.

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.

Topics: United States of America, Massachusetts, New England, Boston, American Revolution, American History, George Washington, Military, War, Founding Fathers, Politics, Thomas Jefferson, and American Government

Published: Simon & Schuster on May 24, 2005
ISBN: 9780743287708
List price: $11.99
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I have the Hardcover edition. It covers that one year better than any read i have encountered. I've bought this for several history buffs and they all had high praise and like the focus of the subject. You can truly empathise with Washington not being able to share his true feelings on the outcome of battle.read more
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1776 is a non-fiction, historical narrative of the military events of the year 1776 in America, whose colonies were struggling to gain independence from England. A page-turner from beginning to end, 1776 is a highly readable account of the seemingly insurmountable difficulties George Washington faced while in charge of conducting a war with insufficient numbers of troops, lack of supplies, and without the full support of the people he was trying to liberate. McCullough reveals a very human George Washington, not the idolic god he is often made out to be. He also introduces other key figures of Washington's staff that were crucial to Washington's success as a commander. We meet Nathanael Greene and Henry Knox, two young, literary men (Knox was a book seller) who had no military experience at all but proved to be intelligent strategists and, ultimately, a godsend. We also meet the eccentric and egotistical Charles Lee, the only officer with any prior battle experience (including Washington). By no means is 1776 one-sided. McCullough gives equal time to key players in the British military, the Hessians (mercenaries), and the loyalists(or Tories). In McCullough's recounting of these events, we witness the miraculous, horrific, and very human sides of this conflict. What comes through is Washington's brilliance as a leader not because of military genius (he was at times but as often was not) but because of his perserverance, tenacity and belief in what he was doing.read more
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This is another one of those works of popular history that reads like a page-turner novel. I learned more about the against-all-odds circumstances of the American Revolution in these 400 pages than I did in any American history class.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

I have the Hardcover edition. It covers that one year better than any read i have encountered. I've bought this for several history buffs and they all had high praise and like the focus of the subject. You can truly empathise with Washington not being able to share his true feelings on the outcome of battle.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
1776 is a non-fiction, historical narrative of the military events of the year 1776 in America, whose colonies were struggling to gain independence from England. A page-turner from beginning to end, 1776 is a highly readable account of the seemingly insurmountable difficulties George Washington faced while in charge of conducting a war with insufficient numbers of troops, lack of supplies, and without the full support of the people he was trying to liberate. McCullough reveals a very human George Washington, not the idolic god he is often made out to be. He also introduces other key figures of Washington's staff that were crucial to Washington's success as a commander. We meet Nathanael Greene and Henry Knox, two young, literary men (Knox was a book seller) who had no military experience at all but proved to be intelligent strategists and, ultimately, a godsend. We also meet the eccentric and egotistical Charles Lee, the only officer with any prior battle experience (including Washington). By no means is 1776 one-sided. McCullough gives equal time to key players in the British military, the Hessians (mercenaries), and the loyalists(or Tories). In McCullough's recounting of these events, we witness the miraculous, horrific, and very human sides of this conflict. What comes through is Washington's brilliance as a leader not because of military genius (he was at times but as often was not) but because of his perserverance, tenacity and belief in what he was doing.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is another one of those works of popular history that reads like a page-turner novel. I learned more about the against-all-odds circumstances of the American Revolution in these 400 pages than I did in any American history class.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Good book. You know the Americans win independence but at the time they didn’t. This book describes one piece of the journey in detail. Amazing what soldiers went through. They almost sound like prisoners of war with some marching for miles in snow without shoes and at other times standing in trenches with water to their waists for long periods of time.
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I would hazard to say less than 20% of the books I read are non-fiction. Historical non-fiction drops that number down to about 5% or less and I believe that number may stand at no more than one or two books total dealing with American in or around the Revolutionary War. All that said, after reading McCullough's book, I've come to the conclusion that I had been missing out. McCullough's extensively researched and sourced work brings alive events that happened generations ago. While there was a bit I was already aware of rehashed, the tone wasn't so dry that I minded getting a refresher. Additionally, with the spice of personal accounts by in-the-trenches foot soldiers (from both sides of the conflict) throughout, even those portions people may be familiar with had a greater level of freshness. Full disclosure: my level of interest may have been higher since I live, work and grew up near many of the places key in McCullough's focus of this portion of the war. It was a little bit of a shock to read of Newark, NJ as a "small, charming port town," or Brooklyn being a few hundred houses or of King's Highway being the best road in the country at the time.Definitely added to the fun.
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accessible, readable, inspirational are all good words to describe this book. I enjoyed learning the details of the early years of the war, and was amazed at how thin the thread was between victory and defeat early on. True heroes include Henry Knox and Nathanael Greene, along with George Washington of course. Highly recommended to anyone at all interested the history of the United States...
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