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1776 Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Abridged edition (May 24 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743540077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743540070
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.1 x 14.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #665,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
On the afternoon of Thursday, October 26, 1775, His Royal Majesty George III, King of England, rode in royal splendor from St. James's Palace to the Palace of Westminster, there to address the opening of Parliament on the increasingly distressing issue of war in America. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
David McCullough is cherished as the best social-historian of our generation. And this book, yet again, confirms these claims. This book was intended as a companion to his monumental study of John Adams, and brings about to light the struggle of the supporting cast that made the founding fathers' ideas a success.

Bunker Hill has already happened. America has started an armed rebellion against the King. And the King surrounded by a bunch of lord hawks has resolved to crush the rebellion, and bring America to its senses. Of course this story has been retold hundreds and hundreds of times throughout his story. All the facts are known, but McCullough's genius is displayed in his colorful descriptions of the events. He builds up the scenes of events with such vivid detail, that I could imagine myself being right on the sidelines of the British parliament as king George III is delivering his somber speech.

And it gets better from there. The events that follow talk about the titanic efforts of a few militiamen, adventurers, farmers, and patriots that by standing up to the mightiest empire on earth, changed the course of history and democracy forever. 1776 is the year that is celebrated as the birth year of the US, but in effect there wasn't much to celebrate in that year, according to this book. The declaration of independence was just a piece of paper, and the continental army suffered blow after blow, from British and Prussian mercenaries.

In fact, the story of 1776 is almost gut-wrenching when narrated consecutively through the months of summer, and into the fall and winter of heavy losses in the battles around New York. George Washington kept retreating and was criticized for indecisiveness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John T C TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 25 2013
Format: Paperback
There are so many positive aspects about 1776. I find the book a blessing in so many ways. After reading it, I now have a better understanding of the American Revolution. It is perhaps the best-researched history book that I have read on this subject. I particularly liked the depth the author gave to the major characters and even some of the minor ones as well. I particularly liked the way David McCullough did a marvelous job telling his story through history.
Other recently read books that treat a revolutionary era through narratives and dialogues through history are Disciples of Fortune,The Emotional Intelligence Quickbook: Everything You Need to Know to Put Your EQ to Work,His Excellency: George Washington.I learned lots of details from 1776 and appreciated that fateful year for the US and England.
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By Tom on Jan. 28 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I read the book but somehow the author's voice seems to add that little extra element that takes you into the story as if you were there. Anyone interested in history written from the personal viewpoint of the active participants should get this book/audioCD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 16 2006
Format: Hardcover
David McCullough is fast becoming the most popular historian of Americana in the country. His books are the sort that run counter to publishing conventional wisdom - he regularly puts out large, thick 'tomes' on figures, places or events that might not be the best known in American history, yet because of his good research, eye for discernment and engaging writing style, the reading public continues to purchase and read the texts, eagerly waiting for more.
Therefore, how could McCullough's text on 1776 not be a success? Divided into three major sections, the story of the year 1776 is perhaps different in this retelling than typical story because McCullough confines himself to this one, fateful year, and does the telling without a great deal of back-interpretation that casts a better glow. When things look bleak, they are bleak - indeed, if one did not know the subsequent history, one might think at the end of this text that the American forces were destined to lose.
In some ways, this year could be entitled 'The Tale of Two Georges', and in his presentation of both Washington and King George, McCullough is careful to separate fact from later legendary accretions. The king was not the villain of later American schoolchildren's lore, and George Washington, while heroic, was still a human being faced with uncertain times and fallible decisions. However, it is in other characters that McCullough's talents really shine. One such figure is Nathanael Greene, the youngest general in the American army (McCullough said in an interview with Charlie Rose that Greene is perhaps his favourite character in this book).
The course of the narrative takes the reader back and forth from England to America, and looks both at the political and military issues in both places.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Phillips on March 8 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a reader who likes stories. I like my history books to be yarns, filled with the pertinent details. The problem is that many history books are composed of boring lists of facts and dates.

1776 is not. This is a book that keeps suspenseful, relevant and interesting throughout.

I was originally going to give 4 stars, but that is because of my prejudice towards history books. This book far surpasses the norm for the genre, and should be read by everyone interested in early American history.

Incidentally, the recruitment problems encountered by the American army are explained in another book, Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." This book portrays the war of independence as a war to further the economic interests of the ruling class. The poor had little to no interest in independence, and thus Washington and his army found themselves perpetually short of men.

Read 1776 if you like history
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