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1776

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  160,482 ratings  ·  6,508 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, US / Canada, 386 pages
Published July 4th 2006 by Simon Schuster (first published May 24th 2005)
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Brian Spoiler alert: We win the war. Lol
Christine Calabrese Washington makes a lot of mistakes, he is not up to this awesome task, yet with sheer will and strong determination, he learns his lessons. He is…moreWashington makes a lot of mistakes, he is not up to this awesome task, yet with sheer will and strong determination, he learns his lessons. He is called names by those insiders who want his job, he does have some indecisive moments, however he ends the year and moves into 1777 with strong decisive strikes against the enemy. Remember however, the war doesn't end until 1783 and Washington remains faithful in the war, he sacrifices much for his country, we learn that without him, we surely would not have won the war. (less)

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Diane
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Nate Cooley
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Debra
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
How did a group of farmers beat the English Empire? Through blood, sweat and tears. Noted American Historian, David McCullough, beautifully tells the story of the birth of the United States of America. He takes just one year in the American Revolution to tell how both sides of the war felt and thought. He shows how King George III thought of the Colonists as petulant children who did not have any legitimate complaints. He showed how George Washington was worried about the chance of Victory for t ...more
Connie
"1776" is an interesting narrative covering the Revolutionary War from the Siege of Boston in late 1775, through the British victories in New York, to the successful American battles in windy, snowy weather in New Jersey. The war did not end until 1783, so this book only covers the historic year when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

It's a joy to read David McCullough's writing because he makes the historical figures seem so real with their strengths and flaws. The book is well-researc
...more
Lyn
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Pulitzer prizes are sexy!

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.

description
Ashley
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
...more
Josh
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
McCullough’s ‘1776’ is a book about discovery: the force within oneself, one body of people, to be free without the anxiety of what it means to govern themselves independently.

Democracy was what they yearned for. The majority of the American people wanted to unite and unite they did. McCullough discusses the trials and tribulations of the first full year of the American Revolutionary War in the north to northeastern part of the colonies with clear and concise language. He uses many quotes and p
...more
Kellie
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Sarah
Technically I didn't actually read this for school, but it's so clearly written and informative that I'm putting it there.

David McCullough employs a lucid style in this book, detailed without being ornate, that conveys a lot of information in a short amount of pages. He's even-handed in his portrayals of the notable persons on both sides of the war, mostly focusing on them as soldiers and statesmen rather than as people. It's a refreshing approach, neither hagiography nor demonization. Both sid
...more
Chrissie
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first book of the nine I have read by David McCullough that I have not given either a four or five star rating. Three stars is a book I like but I do not think it compares well to his other books.

It isn't comprehensive enough. Why does he cover only the first year of the Revolutionary War? There is no explanation given. It actually starts with the Siege of Boston in the fall of 1775, yet it does not cover Bunker Hill or the Battle of Lexington which occurred earlier in the same year
...more
Diane
Jul 24, 2007 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
Duane
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
...more
Jena
The most spellbinding account of history I've read so far!
I could not put this book down!
When I realize all that American soldiers endured during the Revolution, the situations that favored us merely by chance, and the miraculous deeds that eventually won the war for us, I am in awe of America!
George Washington was not perfect, nor were his men. And maybe it's that imperfection which elevates them to true hero status, because they overcame countless defeats and obstacles, but also their own vice
...more
Karla
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.
Joy D
Non-fiction history of the year 1776, a pivotal year in the American Revolution. McCullough focuses on the prominent leaders, both British and American, and we get a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses. It contains descriptions of each military target, the strategic objectives, how the engagement ensued, and its outcome. After reading this book, I am astounded that the Americans won, as they severely lacked weapons, powder, money, troops, experience, discipline, and leadership. One of th ...more
Jim
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Tim Cook
Feb 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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
Mike
Aug 27, 2008 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
JonathanT
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This was good! And well-researched! And informative! But not particularly earth-shattering or compelling... the author spent a lot of time on motives, reasons, causes, and basically what COULD HAVE happened if x, y, and z would have gone differently. This expository information definitely gave the book more depth, but it also made events drag a little.

Still, WOW. The amount of research required to write something like this blows my mind. (The book seems long, but the last 100ish pages are sourc
...more
Alexw
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
McCullough does it again !! His fascinating narrative about the trial and tribulations as Washington's troops suffer from the weather and defeats by the most powerful army in the world and still win is truly inspiring.
Eric
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
...more
Adam
Review of the audiobook narrated by the author.

McCullough does a masterful job of setting the historical stage, introducing us to the characters and telling a comprehensive tale of the events of 1776, both in his own voice and (thanks to letters he researched) in the voice of many involved in the conflict. He gives us just enough of the names and places without getting bogged down in the minutia and sounding like a textbook. Focusing on this crucial year he is able to give us a taste of the bigg
...more
Trudy Brasure
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
McCullough deserves kudos for making a comprehensive story of one long-ago year's unfolding drama fresh and compelling. The myriad military personalities come to life and the details of the trials and victories of this ragtag rebel army made this memorable as well as fascinating to read.
I'll be reading more of McCullough's work.
Barnabas Piper
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
History is eminently fascinating but often sin written as such. Not a problem for McCullough. He novelizes history as well as anyone, but without sensationalizing. A thoroughly enjoyable and informative read.
Alissa Patrick
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review could just be the reader, not the content. The audiobook was very boring and I felt myself getting easily distracted and stop paying attention. The book version may work better, if you're thinking of giving this one a try.
Ramona
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
For star book for history buffs. Not a narrative, not an exciting dramatic take on the history, but the FACTS! A little dry for me, but because it is such high quality facts and so well researched I can't help but give it 4 stars.
Chris
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Trust David McCullough to make a story you have heard many times still thrilling.
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David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback; His other widely praised books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood. He has been honored with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the Na ...more
“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.” 28 likes
“There are no people on earth in whom a spirit of enthusiastic zeal is so readily kindled, and burns so remarkably, as Americans” 13 likes
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