Jan C's Reviews > 1776

1776 by David McCullough
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really liked it
bookshelves: revolution, 2016

Oh, why did I put this book down for so long? I forgot what a wonderful writer David McCullough is. Especially in these last few pages he was making the revolution come alive to me.

Of course, it did help that it had gotten to where Washington crosses the Delaware and routs the drunken Hessians by Trenton. (Per McCullough, the Hessians weren't really drunk. Just another urban legend, I guess.) I had friends who lived in Yardley, PA, right by Washington's Crossing, which, I presume, is the then McKonkey's Ferry. They do a reenactment there. We didn't go out in the middle of the night to see them cross, but in the morning (I think it was Christmas morning) we went over there and we didn't see a lot of ice, but it was a warm winter that year, and a wonderful display by a piper band coming out of the fog. I almost swooned - it was really enough to almost take your breath away.

In college, there was a professor who said that any general but Howe could have beat Washington and any general but Washington could have beat Howe. I don't know. Washington had an awful lot go wrong for him in the year 1776, especially from August to December. On November 30, I think it was Howe (might have been Cornwallis) made an offer for people to quit the Americans. And the people in New Jersey were coming in by droves. It is end of December and another enlistment period is almost up and Washington is fearful that he is not going to have an army come the new year. They must do something daring! They do.

Washington preaches perseverance. He was one who learned from experience and probably rarely made the same mistake twice. Thank goodness or who knows what would have happened to us. Franklin once famously said that we must all hang together or else we will hang separately. So I, for one, am grateful for Washington's perseverance.
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Reading Progress

May 23, 2009 – Shelved
June 1, 2009 – Started Reading
January 18, 2016 –
page 178
January 18, 2016 – Shelved as: revolution
January 23, 2016 –
page 234
January 25, 2016 –
page 257
January 26, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016
January 26, 2016 – Finished Reading

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