Christopher Richardson's Reviews > 1776

1776 by David McCullough
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In reading 1776, you can only shake your head at today's politics. We think we have it tough? Here was George Washington, a Virginian, who took command of an army that was 90% from New England (which was as foreign to him as England itself); an army of "irregulars" - farmers, doctors, tradesmen, and backwoods men and vowed to lead this "rabble" against the greatest military power on Earth. This "army of everyone" as McCullough says, was a representation of America then and now - all colors and from all regions united in the "Cause" - of first defense and then independence.

Washington's unbending willingness to surrender the "Cause" leaves you admiring his courage and his integrity in the face of dissent and disloyalty (of which there was plenty). I think many people look to the "Founders", Washington, and Adams and say: "wow, look at how those guys all thought alike and united" but this book dispels that notion and rightfully. America was deeply divided, there was a large segment of "Loyalists" in the population, and Washington was left virtually alone as his army of 20,000 men virtually disappeared to nothing in the face of the largest invasion force in world history at that time on the shores of New York. Chased nearly to death through the woods of New York and New Jersey, McCullough really brings to life the hopelessness of the situation, but the courage of Washington and the small band of soldiers who did not abandon him.

I also love that Washington always had a Plan B, a Plan C, a Plan D, and even a Plan E. Even when chased out of New York and Fort Washington, he didn't simply throw his hands up at the process, but always found "another way." We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women of that era and McCullough's book is a great reminder as to why we should honor and thank those who never gave up. A great book for those looking to remember the character of our country.
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Reading Progress

February 9, 2016 – Started Reading
February 9, 2016 – Shelved
February 14, 2016 – Finished Reading

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