Reed Pendergrass's Reviews > 1776

1776 by David McCullough
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

liked it

In his book 1776, McCullough is a better historian than writer. There's a lot in this book that is interesting: the debate in the British Parliament, the siege of Boston, New York in 1776, the crossing of the Delaware, etc. The book's two selling points are probably its glowing characterization of Washington, and the revelation of just how bad our fledgling army's growing pains were.

However, I found much of 1776 infuriating. I'm no great writer, but in my head, I was constantly omitting needless words and restructuring sentences for the sake of clarity. And because a lot of the book lacked narrative clarity, I was bored out of my mind half the time.

I also had a problem of expectations. The book focuses so much on the army and battles. To me, the interesting parts of war stories were never "500 troops moved to flank 600 troops", nor even learning that "500 soldiers were lost on Team A and 400 on Team B." It's the stories of individuals that get my attention- the moments before and after a battle. I love reading the causes and results of battles, not really the battles themselves. And to be honest, I wanted more of the politics leading up to and during this momentous year in history. There was a lot of war in 1776, but I don't know if it's ever put in its proper context.

Anyway, there is a lot to recommend about this book, and I hope that others find more enjoyment in it than I did.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read 1776.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 30, 2015 – Shelved
December 30, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
February 22, 2016 – Started Reading
March 1, 2016 –
March 4, 2016 – Finished Reading

No comments have been added yet.