Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “1776” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  122,900 Ratings  ·  5,716 Reviews
In this stirring audiobook, 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 ...more
Published May 24th 2005 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 1776, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Brian Spoiler alert: We win the war. Lol
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 14, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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, probably wouldn't ...more
Will Byrnes
Sep 09, 2015 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an interesting book that describes in personal detail the battles of the early revolution. We see George and company in Boston, New York City, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. McCullough paints portraits of the military leaders of those campaigns, Howe primarily, and Clinton for the Brits, Greene, Knox, GW and a handful of others for the Yanks. He shows us some of GW’s correspondence and we learn of his disaffection for New Englanders. The troops were a rag tag bunch and George was constantl ...more
Jason Koivu
Jan 11, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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
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
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
This isn't the book I wanted to read, or was expecting to read, but it was good nonetheless.

What I was expecting:

1. A book about the first full year of the American Revolution (this part was accurate).
2. Insight into the causes of the Revolution (absent almost completely).
3. Portrayals of the way the two sides saw each other, and why (somewhat present).
4. Stuff about George Washington and the other founding fathers (there was some stuff on George Washington, mostly in his role as commander in ch
Aug 21, 2007 Diane added it  ·  review of another edition
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
I listened to this on audio-book, although I do have a hard back copy in my library. David McCollough's distinct voice, which makes his speeches so enjoyable, also makes him the perfect candidate to read his own books. His is the recognizable voice from the 90's as the narrator of Ken Burns PBS classic "The Civil War". The only McCullough book I've read is his Pulitzer Prize winning biography, John Adams.

1776 is not quite on the level with John Adams, but it's very good, very enlightening, abou
Feb 07, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read several of David McCullough's books including John Adams and it is easy to see why he is called "America's storyteller". As the title suggests this novel focuses on the pivotal year of 1776. It is the story of both the British and the Americans, the events that took place and the major players in these events.

On the British side there is King George III, General William Howe, General Henry Clinton, General Charles Cornwallis, and others. At the time Britain was probably the mightiest
Tim Cook
Feb 11, 2008 Tim Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
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
May 27, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pulitzer prize winner and well deserving.

This chronicles Washington's army from just after Bunker Hill to the dramatic crossing of the Delaware and his Christmas attack of the Hessians at Trenton. Well researched and superbly written, very entertaining. McCullough paints a vivid portrait of legendary time.

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
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
Trust David McCullough to make a story you have heard many times still thrilling.
May 30, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan C
Jan 26, 2016 Jan C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: revolution, 2016
Oh, why did I put this book down for so long? I forgot what a wonderful writer David McCullough is. Especially in these last few pages he was making the revolution come alive to me.

Of course, it did help that it had gotten to where Washington crosses the Delaware and routs the drunken Hessians by Trenton. (Per McCullough, the Hessians weren't really drunk. Just another urban legend, I guess.) I had friends who lived in Yardley, PA, right by Washington's Crossing, which, I presume, is the then Mc
Patrick Gibson
Oct 13, 2014 Patrick Gibson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 18, 2012 Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"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
A British ship’s surgeon who used the privileges of his profession to visit some of the rebel camps, described roads crowded with carts and wagons hauling mostly provisions, but also, he noted, inordinate quantities of rum — “for without New England rum, a New England army could not be kept together.” The rebels, he calculated, were consuming a bottle a day per man.

One late night foray led me to finish this book hours after beginning. It is no great shame, but it was the musical Hamilton which i
Dave Russell
Dec 23, 2008 Dave Russell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Apr 25, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, military
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
Being a fan of the TV series TURN: Washington's Spies, I had a particular interest in this book. Also, David McCullough is a magnificent author. I listened to the audio book and McCullough also read the book in which he also is quite talented.

The year 1776 was a very pivotal year in the American Revolution. On July 4th every year, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence. It was also year that did not go particularly well for General George Washington. The year 1776 marked the year Great Bri
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."
Apr 22, 2008 Suzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 20, 2016 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction, war
This is another marvelously written book (the third one I've read) by David McCullough. McCullough is one of our best living historians, the winner of two National Book Awards and two Pulitzer Prizes. He knows how to tell a gripping story. His characters come alive, he adds key quotations, and the narrative flows at the right pace. His research is impeccable with many important primary sources. I believe he gets the history right!
"1776" is the story of this early year of the Revolutionary War an
Jul 23, 2009 Tahleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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
Mar 10, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 27, 2007 Jim is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
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.
John Boettcher
If you want something so dense, so boring, and so un-enlightening, then THIS is your book. Does McCullough write specifically for people that have insomnia? The dictionary was more enthralling than this tome.

I would Wikipedia the Revolutionary War if that is your thing. You can get the highlights without loosing consciousness 9 times.
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
incorrect formatting 1 11 Jun 23, 2016 10:19AM  
Other good history books 11 85 Jan 08, 2016 08:30AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: 1776 by David McCullough 1 17 Jan 01, 2015 04:49PM  
1776 / McCullough 47 323 Jul 07, 2014 03:40PM  
  • American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic
  • Washington's Crossing
  • Washington's Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge
  • Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence
  • The American Revolution: A History
  • Battle Cry of Freedom
  • Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship that Saved the Revolution
  • American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
  • James Madison
  • The Glorious Cause
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
  • Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War
  • The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army
  • For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions
  • 1812: The War That Forged a Nation
  • The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789
  • Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution
  • Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-69
David McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history,” “a matchless writer.” He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

(update: His most recent book is The Wright Brothers, published on May 5th 2015 by Simon & Schuster.)

Mr. McCullou
More about David McCullough...

Share This Book

“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.” 22 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.” 11 likes
More quotes…