Steve Bates's Reviews > 1776

1776 by David McCullough
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

liked it

Decent, but very confused about what its focus should be: after beginning in London in the autumn of '75 as Parliament debates what to do about the rebellion, the bulk of the book ends up being entirely from the point of view of the Continental army and the British regulars (and Hessians) sent to wipe them out (and even so taking a good third of the text before it gets around to the titular year). Anything going on south of New Jersey is almost completely ignored, with the initial British attack on Charleston getting a paragraph in passing.

On the other hand, it's to the narrative's benefit that the Declaration and the other doings of Congress come up mainly in terms of how they support the army, and its great strength is demystifying Washington's generalship and the mythical year in question and getting across that the rebel army was perpetually teetering on the brink of disaster in these early days, when the most impressive wins they had came down to escaping the sieges of Boston and then of New York without being completely wiped out. The book ends on a strong note, in the wake of his first decisive victories in Trenton and Princeton after the crossing of the Delaware, but the whole thing is rather muddled.

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

Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 20, 2016 – Finished Reading
March 21, 2016 – Shelved

No comments have been added yet.