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1776 was the first Audible book I have ever purchased and it raises the bar upon which all other books will be compared. It's special to have the Pulitzer Prize author read his own book. Having grown up outside Boston, our history classes only covered the more famous events - Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride, and Bunker Hill.
I never knew about George Washington's siege of Boston (and I lived there) that drove out the British or the horrendous conditions of the continental army. I was never taught about the importance of New York or the loss after loss of battles. McCullough covers the heroes, villians, and traitors in exquisite detail. Did you know that the first American traitor was the Continental Army Surgeon General or that wives, fighting next to their husbands, distinguished themselves in battle?
David McCullough's 1776 puts you right there - like a time machine. He masterfully tells a story and painstakingly reinforces its authenticity with letters from the people who were there. This is one of the finest historical novels I have ever "read" and I look forward to his John Adams books. There is little doubt that I will have to listen to it again... Now I know where the name Fort Knox came from.
53 of 54 people found this review helpful
First, I have to say that the description of the crossing of the Delaware had me so excited that I was short of breath. I had the painting on the subject firmly in my mind and was thrilled to be hearing the retelling.
As the book contains excellent lessons in strength in leadership, I was enthralled as it wound its way through the evolution of General Washington and his counsel. And it shows the great importance of surrounding yourself with great people but making strong and final decisions.
And I came away from the book incredibly proud to be an American. The sacrifices and hardships described in this book give me great reason to stand with my head high.
I'll finish by summarizing my thoughts in two words: "Get it!"
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
David Mccullough is a fine popular historian; his books are always enjoyable and informative. He has a knack of combining the big picture with the stories and experiences of those who were going though it at the time, and weaving it all into a tremendous narrative. The book focuses on the first year of the American revolution - not the whole history - and paints a vivid and absorbing picture of just how close things came to disaster for Washington and his rather raggle-taggle army,and how they dug themselves out of the mire - stirring stuff.
My only bugbear - and it's nothing to do with the book itself - is that it is frustrating sometimes listening to history books where the content is to do with military exploits, and that is one wishes for a map! I am not all that familiar with american geography so kept rushing to an atlas so that I could better keep track of what was going on. But dont let this put you off what is a fine and enjoyable book - very well narrated by the author himself.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful