John Gonzalez's Reviews > 1776

1776 by David McCullough
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's review
Mar 11, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: history

Traditional history book often feel stuffy and stagnant. Most history writers just can't pull off authenticity - even if they are indeed recounting history. McCullough has long been one of my favorite history writers because of his lively prose. 1776 is the sort of book that makes history seem palpable and not so distant. You feel Washington's - and the troops' - despair and urgency as they defend (and escape) New York. The book succeeds at making it clear that revolutions are not simple matters of declarations but often required tremendous sacrifices from those who stand to benefit the least. The most impressive accomplishment of the book , however, is Washington's portrayal. Instead of the typical picture of perfection, Washington is flawed, inexperienced, and often wrong. In light of those flaws, his tenacious character becomes his most endearing trait. As the title suggests, this book covers roughly one year. What a way to cover a year!

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