Phil's Reviews > 1776

1776 by David McCullough
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it was amazing

David McCullough is a wonderful historian. I had the pleasure recently of being able to go to his interview at San Francisco City Arts and Lectures. I am glad I read this book shortly after because what he said about source materials and diaries stuck with me. While reading 1776, I paid close attention to the detail of human events and emotions that could only have come from dairies.

I wish in the US we had a better attitude about the ability of our junior high school and high school students to read history like 1776 and not some jingoistic substitute. I was quite able to read a book like 1776 in even 7th grade.

The bravery, mistakes and frustrations of Washington and the other military leaders and the mixed feelings on the part of most what we refer to as Americans at that time are portrayed in detail by McCullough. I have only read four McCullough books including this one, but so far to me he has a strong narrative presence in his books and I like that. I like being told a story not just have the story happen.

McCullough makes it clear that luck played a big role in the outcome of the revolutionary war. The British and their Hessian hires definitely had the American "rag tags" out skilled. But then in parts of the country (not New York certainly) there was a lot of support for Washington and his army and the British had to watch their backs.

1776 is a short read. It is literally just 1776. One year that made the difference for all of us. It is a must read for everyone.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 18, 2015 – Finished Reading
August 16, 2015 – Shelved

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