Peter Spung's Reviews > 1776

1776 by David McCullough
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it was amazing

It is a miracle that the US and cause of independence survived the campaigns of the summer and fall of 1776. As master historian and Pulitzer prize winner David McCullough lays out through superb story telling, vivid first person accounts, and sharp analysis, 1776 was our darkest hour. The victory in Boston was followed by severe defeats in Brooklyn, Kips Bay, White Plains, Fort Washington and Fort Lee (given up without a fight); the army had dwindled from 20,000 August to 3,500 three months later. It was an army without order, training, or supplies, and filled with disease, suffering, hunger, cowardice from inexperience, and disillusionment from defeat.

Yet the cause was won. The great cunning, industry, and spirit of enterprise of the men, was fostered and inspired by the courage and perseverance of Washington, Greene, and Knox through the darkest times. At the end of 1776, two surprise attack victories by the rebels at Trenton and Princeton turned the tide. Divine Providence played a roles too, per the last sentence: "Especially for those who had been with Washington and who knew what a close call it was at the beginning [throughout the year of 1776] -- how often circumstance, storms, contrary winds, the oddities or strengths of individual character had made the difference -- the outcome seemed little short of a miracle."

For other excellent books on this period, I recommend Pulitzer-prize winning Washington's Crossing, by David Hackett Fischer, and His Excellency: George Washington, by Joseph J. Ellis.

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Reading Progress

July 15, 2016 – Started Reading
July 15, 2016 – Shelved
July 15, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
July 30, 2016 – Finished Reading

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