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.
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"For me, one of the most important things that I can do as a history teacher is make sure that students see our forefathers as real people. It's common to get all the way through your formal education without ever hearing anything negative about our founders, which in turn makes their accomplishments seem unattainable to the average teenager. Inspiration comes from the acts of real people, not Greek Gods. The author of 1776 does an amazing job of not only pointing out the tactical disadvantages American leaders had to overcome, but also the flaws in their personality traits, their character, and their judgment. He honors their accomplishments without making deities out of them by giving a gritty look in to the blue-print for their successes. I've never had a better appreciation for what Washington and his troops did. A must read for history/revolutionary war buffs."
Blake (4 out of 5 stars)