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1776

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  137,543 Ratings  ·  6,041 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 t ...more
ebook, 388 pages
Published May 24th 2005 by Simon Schuster (first published 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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Community Reviews

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Diane
Aug 23, 2013 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
Oct 08, 2008 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
Nov 22, 2008 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
...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
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
Lyn
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Chrissie
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  ·  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
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
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.
Jim
Feb 02, 2016 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
...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
Tim Cook
Feb 11, 2008 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
Alexw
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Trudy Brasure
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alissa Patrick
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.
Eric
Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
- General George Washington


I’m ashamed to say that, despite even the meager teaching I received in grade and high school, my knowledge of the Revolutionary War period is still rather slim. I know the notable names, the dates, and general locations certain battles were fought, but know nothing of the details, the inspirations, or the specifics regarding motivating factors. The true political landscape of the time completely escapes me, much to
...more
Thomas
Jun 15, 2010 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
...more
Mark
May 30, 2008 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
...more
Jan C
May 23, 2009 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
...more
Brandon
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McCullough could write about the history of indoor plumbing practices and I'd still be enraptured. He's that effective and engrossing as a historical writer. This work provides a one-year snapshot of the American Revolution (focusing a majority of text on military strategy and key players for both the Continental Army and British), and aside from the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it really wasn't the greatest of years for the Americans from a military perspective. But the "spirit" ...more
Chris
Trust David McCullough to make a story you have heard many times still thrilling.
Patrick Gibson
Jan 21, 2009 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
...more
Jonfaith
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
...more
Dave Russell
Dec 02, 2008 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
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
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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
More about David McCullough...

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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.” 24 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
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