1776
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1776

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  74,676 ratings  ·  4,547 reviews
America's most acclaimed historian presents the intricate story of the year of the birth of the United States of America. "1776" tells two gripping stories: how a group of squabbling, disparate colonies became the United States, and how the British Empire tried to stop them. A story with a cast of amazing characters from George III to George Washington, to soldiers and the...more
Paperback, 386 pages
Published July 4th 2006 by Simon & Schuster (first published May 24th 2004)
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Diane
There are several reasons why I think this book is important, and it has a lot to do with the state of our schools. You've probably heard that public education in America is becoming more of a shambles each decade. I work at a community college and often feel like I'm on the front lines of this battle. While we have a number of good students, we also have a fair number 18- and 19-year-olds who simply aren't prepared for higher education and who, if the economy weren't so degree-oriented, probabl...more
Jason Koivu
In 1776 David McCullough captures the importance of that year's quintessential struggle for our country.

By focusing on this single year, as opposed to the entire war, McCullough is able to dissect more minutely the individual battles, turning points, specific leaders, and the result is one of the most humanistic depictions of George Washington I've ever read. Here he becomes more than mythic god of the American past, but rather a living, breathing, flawed man.

Telescoping in on actions like The...more
Nate Cooley
David McCullough has again exceeded all expectations in his latest book, "1776." Like most historical narratives, the reader often knows the ending well in advance. In "1776", every reader had to have expected that McCullough would close his book describing Washington's daring yet gallant crossing of the Delaware and the Continental Army's subsequent triumph at Trenton. Nevertheless, as I approached the end of the book I found myself anxiously awaiting that moment ... I literally read-on with ba...more
Kellie
I decided to read this book because it is on the best seller list and there are about 350 people who have reserved the book on line at the library. I am STILL baffled as to how many people have read and want to read this book. The book is about the Revolutionary war in the year 1776. It is well written. I feel like I missed a lot of school. I don’t remember anything about the Revolutionary war. I didn’t realize how much was fought in New York City and Long Island. I didn’t realize how long it la...more
Diane
Aug 21, 2007 Diane added it
Recommends it for: Helen Keller
There wasn't a shelf for "Books I tried to read, and then failed at." So this one wound up on the "Read" shelf, even though that's a lie - I only suffered through about a 1/3 of it. 1776 bored the living shit out of me. I'm sure this makes me a bad person, moves me out of the running for the next Genius Award, reveals me as an uncultured, unsophisticated reader of comic books and advice columnists, etc etc. Don't care. This book reminded me of a trip I took to Gettysburg when I was in 3rd grade...more
HuhWhat
Finding a point to start when wanting to learn about American History is appealing in itself. With history, finding a beginning is always tricky. I could have started with Christopher Columbus’s voyage, for instance. But my rationale for choosing 1776 was to follow the events and individuals that decided there should exist a United States of America. I wanted to know why they wanted independence, who was involved, how events came into play, not to mention the when and where of it all.

Before rea...more
Stephen
4.5 stars. David McCullough does it again. This is an excellent, entertaining and engaging description of one of the "pivotal" years in American History. Beginning with the early American victory at the "Siege of Boston," McCullough details the disastrous results for the Americans at a series of battles to follow (most notably the Battle of Long Island and the taking of Fort Washington and Fort Lee).

McCullough makes it clear that the American cause was on the point of collapse when, in December...more
Tim Cook
This book was fascinating and compelling, told in an informative style that makes the reader feel present at the events themselves (as is characteristic of McCullough). As a longtime Civil War enthusiast, I found I knew very little regarding the American Revolution, so this book proved to be a treasure trove of interesting facts. The realism with which Washington is described, in both strengths and weaknesses, is a welcome contrast to the near-reverence seen in other texts. "1776" allows us to s...more
Mark
I enjoyed immensely McCullough's John Adams, even though it took me a month or so to read, so look forward to 1776. I was not disappointed.
The book is a short one, and covers a topic I thought I knew well. Surely this material has been plowed through so thoroughly, there is nothing new to unearth? I was wrong. The book read with a raw novelty, as though I was reading about events for the first time, the shadows of which are often Disney-fied for social studies and history classes.
I learned how r...more
Kerrie
I'm at a loss to find the right superlative, but this has to be one of the most enthralling, engrossing, and entertaining histories I've ever had the pleasure to experience.

This is my first McCullough book, so perhaps this is the norm. Boy, I sure hope so.

As with a few other books on the Revolutionary War that I've read recently, I keep asking myself, "Why didn't we learn about our nation's founding with books like this??? It sure would have made it more interesting.

McCullough covers this single...more
Dave Russell
McCullough is not a very good prose writer. Faulkner would have trouble parsing some of his sentences. Also, he's apparently never heard of parallel construction. However, he knows how to cull facts and construct a compelling story. He starts off with King George III giving a speech full of arrogance and bluster that only a British monarch could muster--or possibly a professional wrestler. He ends the book with King George III giving a speech with a more chastened tone. In between Washington tak...more
Susan
Absolutely loved this book. Written in a style easy to read and feeling like I was there, events unfold leading up to battles throughout Massachusetts and New York/New Jersey. I thought I knew about the Revolutionary War, admittedly superficially, but after listening to this audio, I found there was so much more to all the events and people involved. What struck me was how rag-tag the Continental Army really was - no clothing, money, food and ammunition - and with deserters aplenty, it is nothin...more
Patrick Gibson
Jan 21, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history aficionados
The musical was better!

No, I’m kidding (although I am one of 23 people on this planet to actually likes the B’way show. No excuse for the other planets). I want David McCullough to be my grandfather, sit near a fireplace, smoke a pipe and tell me stories. I don’t care about what—just talk.

I like his not-so-stuffy writing style. I always have. In “1776” he continues making historical figures and events accessible and even entertaining. His research is (as far as I know) impeccable. And thar’ be...more
Thomas
"1776" details the events of George Washington and his officers from the summer of 1775 through January of 1777. The book is written in what I find to be a nauseating and anti-intellectual best-seller style, heavy on quotes and light on insight.

The entire book relies on "unnecessary" quotations from "source material," and 95% of the book is comprised of "adjectives" describing "sensorium." If you want descriptions of how the Potomac smelled one morning, or how Washington's buttons on a coat "shi...more
Suzi
Apr 22, 2008 Suzi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: doreen nidey
Backwards, men, to victory! This is a thoroughly readable history of how George Washington and his rag tag band of semi-soldiers finally wore down the British. Oh, the British were as we are now--huge navy, army, and hired help (Blackwater for us--Hessians for them). And except for a couple of brilliant moves (like capturing a bunch of huge canon from Ft. Ticonderoga and moving them cross country, through the mud and slime, to Boston), and one morning the British woke up and found an entire line...more
Steve
McCullough's abundant citations from contemporaneous accounts of soldiers and leaders during the fateful year 1776 humanizes this chronicle of the disastrous campaign that nearly lost the revolutionary war. For readers that today look back and assume the war's conclusion was foregone, it is jarring to note how close defeat was, and how ineffectual the leadership of General George Washington was during most of the first year. And yet, it is hard not to see the Hand of Providence at work during ti...more
Jim
Nov 27, 2007 Jim is currently reading it
Shelves: real-ass-shit
This book is a detailed account of the American Revloutionary War as told by cronicles of the real people who lived through it. The only thing it didn't really mention a whole lot was the pivotal role Vin Diesel played when taking the guns from Ft. Greyskull. Or the part where George Washington jumps the Delaware River on his wacky big front wheel bike.
Karla (Mossy Love Grotto)
A wonderful & amazing chronicle of the make-or-break year in the American Revolution. David McCullough's like a cozy Grandpa Historian: you just wanna sit in a circle and listen to all his stories, which is exactly the experience I had listening to the audiobook.
Liz
This book is not as interesting as people led me to believe. It's basically a book about War....well duh, I hear you say, that's what the War of Independence was all about. However I thought it would be more analytical, why the war started, who the players were, give you the real story of political intrigue and all that jazz. Because war is never really about truth, justice and the American way. It's ALWAYS about a group of people that want the wealth and power of the current people who are in p...more
Wendy Rabe
This account covers only the year 1776, when the Revolutionary War went from looking like a totally lost cause to a cause embraced by Providence. As I read how many times in that year that Washington retreated or made major mistakes and how vastly outnumbered and outtrained the Americans were, I truly marveled at what God has done in giving us this country. It showed me the importance of persevering and trusting God, no matter how circumstances appear from a worldly perspective. I'm no fan of Th...more
Alice S.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tahleen
I liked this book. Not the most riveting I've ever read, but McCullough did a great job with the narrative of the war in the title year. It was actually all stuff I never knew about, or had vaguely heard about (like the crossing of the Delaware). I didn't learn about the actual warfare in school, only the stuff going on in Philadelphia. The book also gives a great character profile of George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, and Henry Knox, among other major players of the revolution, as well as the...more
Christina
Loved this book! I love US history and this book makes me realize either I slept through all history classes I ever took or my teachers gave super abbreviated versions of actual events. It took me longer than usual to read this book because I kept going back and rereading things and looking at maps trying to figure out exactly where these things were happening. I have a new found respect for all the men who seved in Washington's army. And especially for George Washington himself. This book reall...more
Caitlin Canty
One of the best books of any genre I've ever read. Well written, based on first hand accounts of the American Revolution and the events leading up to it. This is not a story of every battle, who won, #s dead, etc., but an insightful telling of the major players and events. I enjoyed every page, and am even reading it again!
Rade
I am not a history buff, but this book was very fun for me to read. A lot of people would attack the US on things they did in the past from the day they arrived here and established themselves as being free and whatnot, but I wouldn't. I am not saying the US is perfect. In fact, they are FAR from perfect, but no matter how you look at it, the struggle to get to where we are today was extremely hard.

This is where this book comes into play. Without going into details on various battle that were f...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jan 03, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Ultimate Reading List - History
This is my second book by David McCullough (the first was The Path Between the Seas, about the building of the Panama Canal). He is fast becoming a favorite. I love his way with history. I don't detect any ideological hobbyhorse with him; he could be a Democrat or a Republican as far as I could tell. He built my trust in several ways. There are extensive notes and listing of sources in the back, and from both that--and the content of the book itself, I can't help but be impressed with the breadt...more
Suzanne
“In the House of Lords in March of 1775, when challenged on the chances of Britain ever winning the war in America, Lord Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, had look incredulous. ‘Suppose the colonies do abound in men, what does that signify?’ he asked. ‘They are raw, undisciplined, cowardly men.’ And Lord Sandwich was by no means alone in that opinion.”

From the opening pages of the book, 1776 had me hooked. I appreciated so much that McCullough chose to start the first chapter in London, w...more
Joy H.
I never thought I'd enjoy a book about war and its battles, but this book, _1776_, drew me in as did McCullough's _John Adams_). McCullough makes it all so real again.

The last page of the book says it all:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
p.294 - "The year 1776... a year of all-too-few victories, of sustained suffering, disease, hunger, desertion, cowardice, disillusionment, defeat, terrible discouragement, and fear... [After all that:] ...the outcome seemed little short of a miracle."...more
Vincent O'Neil
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike
Fireworks and the Declaration of Independence are the only 2 things we normally associate with 1776. I thought I had a good outline of the war. Was I wrong, this book reveals so much that is skipped over in most history classes and books. Read this incredible story to find out the real story of that fateful year. How close we came to being crushed by the dominant military power in the world. What increased admiration I have for the men who fought through to end that year in victory when all seem...more
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1776 / McCullough 47 304 Jul 07, 2014 03:40PM  
Politics: David McCullough - 1776 1 4 Nov 14, 2013 11:53AM  
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David Gaub McCullough is an American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, McCullough earned a degree in English literature from Yale University. His first book was The Johnstown Flood (1968); a...more
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“The year 1776, celebrated as the birth year of the nation and for the signing of the Declaration of Independence, was for those who carried the fight for independence forward a year of all-too-few victories, of sustained suffering, disease, hunger, desertion, cowardice, disillusionment, defeat, terrible discouragement, and fear, as they would never forget, but also of phenomenal courage and bedrock devotion to country, and that, too they would never forget.” 12 likes
“It was a day and age that saw no reason why one could not learn whatever was required - learn vitally anything - by the close study of books.” 5 likes
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