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Publisher's Summary

In this stirring audiobook, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats, who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost: Washington, who had never before led an army in battle.
The darkest hours of that tumultuous year were as dark as any Americans have known. Especially in our own tumultuous time, 1776 is powerful testimony to how much is owed to a rare few in that brave founding epoch, and what a miracle it was that things turned out as they did.
Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough's 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.
©2005 David McCullough (P)2005 Simon and Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.
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Critic Reviews

2005 Audie Award Nominee, Narration by the Author
2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award, Nonfiction
"A first-rate historical account." (Booklist)
"A narrative tour de force, exhibiting all the hallmarks the author is known for: fascinating subject matter, expert research, and detailed, graceful prose....Simply put, this is history writing at its best from one of its top practitioners." (Publishers Weekly)
"A stirring and timely work, reminding us that it's soldiers rather than 'tavern patriots and windy politicians' who have always paid the price of American idealism and determined its successes. (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mark on 10-22-05

Front Seat on History

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.

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57 of 58 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Shawn on 05-30-05

Great Book

After hearing David McCullough for so long on narratives on TV, who cannot doubt that he has one of the best voices around. His voice reads first class material, self authored. 1776 chronicles the events on the North American continent of one of the most important years in the last millenium. It begins just after Lexington/Concord and carries through the significance of Trenton/Princeton.

Listening to it, I gathered a great sense about the particular acts, which severed the already fragile relationship of the English America with the mother country. The character of the two countries, still recognizable today, comes across in the story of the military and political contests of that year.

It is delightful and well worth the time listening.

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65 of 69 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Tom on 04-29-09

Absorbing and well narrated

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.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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