1776 Paperback – Jul 4 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This handsome new version of McCullough's blockbuster (2.6 million copies of the original edition in print) is a visual feast. The text is abridged, but McCullough illustrates his riveting account of the most important year in the war that made America with maps, portraits and reproductions of broadsides and newspaper ads. Many famous paintings are included—Washington Crossing the Delaware (which, McCullough notes, captures the drama of the moment, even though many of the details are inaccurate); Charles Wilson Peale's portraits of Alexander Hamilton and Gen. Nathanael Greene; John Singleton Copley's portrait of Mercy Otis Warren, who wrote an early history of the revolution. McCullough also introduces less well-known images, such as a satiric print poking fun at the British prime minister, Lord North. Scattered throughout are vellum envelopes that hold facsimile reproductions of 37 primary sources—letters from George Washington to Martha, an ambrotype of Continental soldier Ralph Farnham as a centenarian, the text of a vow of allegiance to the king taken by Loyalists in New Jersey. By including these documents, McCullough has recreated not just the excitement of 1776, but the thrill of an archival research trip as well. From start to finish, this volume is a delight. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–McCullough concentrates on George Washington's role in the creation of the Continental Army, starting with his appointment in 1775 to lead the rather amorphous army of the united colonies and continuing through his successes with that army at Trenton and Princeton as 1776 turned into 1777. He introduces readers to the 1776 that Washington experienced: one of continual struggle both to create a working army and to defeat the British. The victories that he met outside Boston were soon followed by defeat and near ruin around New York and gave rise to the realization that 1776 might easily have become the worst year in the history of America. McCullough not only provides readers with some of his best work yet, but also presents an important look at one of the most crucial moments in the history of the United States. Black-and-white and color photos are included.–Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
The story alone would make for engrossing reading. But the addition of over 140 beautiful illustrations and almost 40 reproductions of historical documents really make you feel like you are holding history in the palm of your hand. To read a letter signed by George Washington to his wife Martha, does so much more to bringing the story to life. And the documents are duplicated in every way including the worn and aged parchment quality. This feels less like a book and more like a piece of history to be treasured. A wonderful gift for anyone. Not only well written but a beautiful piece of literature as well.
Most recent customer reviews
Good book as literature... Pages starting falling out before I even finished the book.Published 7 months ago by David Kaufman
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2013 by Tom
I was very disappoined with this book. Having recently completed the two extremely readable and very informative historical fictions dealing with the War of Indepenance by Jeff... Read morePublished on Sept. 2 2007 by Kelly Van Rijn
I am a reader who likes stories. I like my history books to be yarns, filled with the pertinent details. Read morePublished on March 8 2007 by David Phillips
The reader of "1776" is introduced to an excellent narrative of a most crucial year in the history of America and the world. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2007 by James Gallen
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