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4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  1,100 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
1776 is an inspiring and imaginative re-creation of the events from May 8 to July 4 in Philadelphia, when the second Continental Congress argued about, voted on, and signed the Declaration of Independence. From John Adams's opening diatribe to the signing of the document, 1776 is a classic musical play of mounting tension and triumph. Stone and Edwards have dramatically br ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 18th 1976 by Penguin Books (first published 1970)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 10, 2016 Andi rated it it was amazing
I read the occasional play/script from time to time. I love 1776 (way before Hamilton was an interest) and have always wanted to see it on-stage. I was fortunate to come across a copy of the script-book and I was curious to see how faithful the script for the film was to the stage production.

To my surprise, it was VERY faithful. It was interesting seeing the action cues next to each speaker, it gave it a lot more depth and grimace towards some of the not great scenes.

There was a verse here or t
Paul Haspel
Mar 15, 2012 Paul Haspel rated it really liked it
Seeing Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards's play 1776 on a stage, or on the movie screen, is in a way easier; reading the play as a play is more complex. One loses Sherman Edwards's music when all one has is printed words on a page. But Peter Stone's dialogue is just as trenchant; the diligent research that Stone and Edwards did pays off, as the authors effectively dramatize the Second Continental Congress's 1776 deliberations upon the subject of an American Declaration of Independence from Great B ...more
Jessica Barkl
Jun 04, 2016 Jessica Barkl rated it really liked it
Summary from Musical Theatre International:
"The seminal event in American history blazes to vivid life in this most unconventional of Broadway hits. 1776 puts a human face on the pages of history as we see the men behind the national icons: proud, frightened, uncertain, irritable, charming, often petty and ultimately noble figures determined to do the right thing for a fledgling nation.

It's the summer of 1776, and the nation is ready to declare independence...if only our founding fathers can agr
Ronald Koltnow
Jul 05, 2015 Ronald Koltnow rated it it was amazing
On the 4th of July, TCM traditionally shows the film version of Sherman Edwards and Stone's 1776. I watch every year. It is my second favorite Broadway musical, the first being GUYS AND DOLLS. Both plays are available in the spiffing new Library of America collection AMERICAN MUSICALS 1950-1969. Yesterday (the 4th)I watched 1776 while following along in the book. It is a shame that most of what I now know about the Second Continental Congress comes from this version of the history. In the excell ...more
Richard Downey
Jun 20, 2015 Richard Downey rated it it was amazing
Seeing this play (or the film that was made from it) is our family July 4th tradition. I have been in two separate productions of the play playing Franklin and Hopkins respectively. It has been a part of my life for a very long time. The nice thing about reading it is the authors have provided an afterward explaining what is real, what is adapted, and why they did the things they did. Highly recommended.
Daniel Willsey
Apr 28, 2011 Daniel Willsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: performing-arts
I am a musical theater buff. I also have a distinct interest in this period. Although this is not exactly historically accurate,it's the first experience I've had with the founding fathers as real people and not icons. I think this is what sparked my interest in history. It really is inspiring to know these people were basically just folks living their lives with very similar day to day thoughts and things like all of us.
Oct 01, 2008 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful play about the birth of the American republic. It is entertaining, and it is good history.

There is treasure to be found in the back of the book. The authors have included a copy of the Declaration of Independence with the edits performed on it by the Continental Congress. The Historical Note in the book's last pages contains valuable information about the Revolutionary period and about some of our founding fathers.
Dayna Smith
The text version of the play based on the signing of the Declaration of Independence. If you have not seen this play, you should. The movie version is very good, too. It is based on the actual events surrounding the signing, and is a fun way to introduce American's of all ages to the truth about the founding of our country, and the reading of drama.
Matthew Dambro
Apr 06, 2015 Matthew Dambro rated it it was amazing
Wonderful musical comedy of the late 1960s with a hard edge of truth and significant research behind it. I watched the film many years ago and it has stayed with me. You will learn more about the Declaration of Independence here than in most college textbooks. The love story between Abigail and John Adams is breathtaking.
Oct 23, 2016 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, humor, play, war, music
1776 is one of my favorite movies, and I've seen and love the play as well (the "Hamilton" of its day). I picked up the book years ago and finally got around to reading it. I didn't realize just how well I know the movie; whenever the written play deviated from the movie I noticed it. (Mostly minor stuff.) Thoroughly enjoyable - if you haven't see the movie, go watch it!
Kristin Kasper
May 27, 2012 Kristin Kasper rated it really liked it
I love teaching this musical to my juniors. The story teaches the pure differences between a liberal and conservative. I bring out the music and sing my heart away as if I was one of the last 2 contestants on American Idol. Love that!
Mark Woodland
Jul 28, 2011 Mark Woodland rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful! Brings the story of the Declaration of Independence alive and makes the historical figures into very real personalities. Reading it is great by itself, but everyone should grab a chance to see it staged or the movie.
Oct 27, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
As a lover of history and as a lover of musicals, I am a lover of this play. It's funny, witty, and somehow manages to make historical fact tense and suspenseful. Plus, there's nothing so fun as the founding fathers snarking at each other and making bawdy jokes.
Pretty cool musical comedy-drama written for the Bicentennial year. Won't somebody open up a window!?
Jan 25, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
No, I don't read the libretto aloud in my bedroom and pretend to be John Adams. I don't do that at all...
Oct 04, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Of course a musical isn't really complete in written form, but this one is worth reading anyway (although you should also see it!)
Jun 03, 2009 Lynda rated it it was amazing
A musical that takes place during the Continental Congress in Philidelphia in 1776. The main characters are John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Abagail Adams. I love this play.
Aug 30, 2010 Pat rated it really liked it
Very very funny. Again, a nod to my high school English teacher who loved this play. Turned out to also be one of my favorite movies. A complete surprise and a total delight.
Terri Stuhltrager
Apr 06, 2016 Terri Stuhltrager rated it really liked it
I learned more about the Declaration of Independence from this book than any history class in school.
Jun 02, 2008 Janet rated it it was amazing
Delightful! Historical fiction. An account of how the Declaration of Independence was signed in spite of (not because of) our all-too-human American forebearers!
Apr 12, 2008 Fran rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
One of my all-time favorite plays. The music remains playing in my head for days after each time I watch it.
Jan 17, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, other
The lyrics to all the great songs and some of the story behind the creation of a great American musical.
Mara Vetters
Feb 10, 2013 Mara Vetters rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, historical, funny
I finished this book during a trip to Boston. It is amazing how historically accurate this is, as well as entertaining! I can't wait to get ahold of the video so I can see it/hear the songs!
Tony rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2013
Eileen Cristin
Eileen Cristin rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2012
Ellen Church
Ellen Church rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2014
Sarah Powell
Sarah Powell rated it really liked it
Dec 14, 2014
Jts rated it liked it
Oct 07, 2016
Marie rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2014
Paul Hurst
Paul Hurst rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2016
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Anticipation Guide Statements 6 14 Nov 14, 2011 08:53PM  
Anticipation Guide 2 9 Nov 12, 2011 07:03PM  
1776 3 12 Oct 27, 2011 07:48PM  
For the Jeffersons 1 6 Oct 21, 2011 09:38AM  
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American writer for theater, television and movies

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“I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a lawfirm, and that three or more become a congress. -John Adams” 58 likes
“Treason is a charge invented by winners as an excuse for hanging the losers.” 9 likes
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