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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  813 ratings  ·  22 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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1776 by David McCulloughJohn Adams by David McCulloughAlexander Hamilton by Ron ChernowWashington's Crossing by David Hackett FischerFounding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis
Best Books About The American Revolution
31st out of 126 books — 114 voters
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LerouxWicked - Piano/Vocal Arrangement by Stephen SchwartzLes Miserables - Updated Edition by Alain BoubilThe Sound of Music by Richard RodgersFiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
best musicals
58th out of 97 books — 98 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,136)
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Paul Haspel
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
Read for the umpteenth time upon being cast. Anticipate a fun time.
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.
Daniel Willsey
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.
Emily Lewis
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.
Mark Woodland
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.
Kristin Banta
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!
Mara Vetters
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!
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.
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.
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!
Of course a musical isn't really complete in written form, but this one is worth reading anyway (although you should also see it!)
The lyrics to all the great songs and some of the story behind the creation of a great American musical.
No, I don't read the libretto aloud in my bedroom and pretend to be John Adams. I don't do that at all...
One of my all-time favorite plays. The music remains playing in my head for days after each time I watch it.
Mark Singer
"Then what's that I smell floatin' down from the North -could it be the aroma of hy-procisy?"
Jul 04, 2013 Rick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
A wonderfully literate and witty book for a rather unlikely musical.
Chambers Stevens
Love this show!!
Still watch the film every 4th of July.
Debora Buerk
A favorite to read over and over for more than 30 years!
This is a great American musical. A must read.
Rob Roy
Well worth seeing or reading
for the summer...
Hadia Kausar
Hadia Kausar marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
Fallon marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2015
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Anticipation Guide Statements 6 12 Nov 14, 2011 08:53PM  
Anticipation Guide 2 9 Nov 12, 2011 07:03PM  
1776 3 11 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

Librarian note:
There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name
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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” 52 likes
“I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a CONGRESS!” 8 likes
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