1776 by David McCullough

November 8, 2011
By greenbean1400 BRONZE, Littleton, Colorado
greenbean1400 BRONZE, Littleton, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

David McCullough is one of America’s greatest historians. He has received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award for his books John Adams and Truman. He has been honored with the National Book Foundation, the Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for many of his great stories. His latest book, 1776, is a story of the Revolutionary War. This book is very focused on the Historical study of why things took place in the war, and much less how. McCullough does not provide a blow-by-blow account of each battle, but he gives a description of each battle in this time period to allow the reader to understand the reasons for why the battles ended as they did. He captures the desperation and courage that the Americans had in some of the darkest times of the war. For instance, McCullough describes George Washington’s daring raid to defeat the Trenton as a gamble to provide the Americans with some type of victory.

1776 is a story of people, both British and American alike. It has accounts from men of every shape, size, and color. These are stories from farmers, school teachers, shoemakers, and mere boys that were turned into soldiers. McCullough thoroughly captures the feelings and beliefs of both sides. He intertwines his narrative with excerpts from letters and diaries of the participants, giving the reader a sense of connection to everyone in the war. As the title indicates, this book covers one year, the year of conflict between Great Britain and the freedom seeking colonies. McCullough recounts the proceedings of the year and gives a good narrative of each event. However, just as the Revolutionary War started slow, so did this book. All the information was clearly presented, all the accounts are meticulously accurate, and I learned a lot about the revolution that I didn’t know. But it took a long time to get through it and it was never really a page turner. I found that I was forcing myself to read it just to finish it up. 365 days’ worth of information crammed into 295 pages was really hard to internalize, and even harder to connect to. 1776 is a difficult book to get into, but if you do find yourself in its clutches, I believe it will pull you in and never let you go.

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