The Resource 1776

1776

Label
1776
Title
1776
Statement of responsibility
David McCullough
Title variation
  • Seventeen seventy-six
  • Seventeen hundred and seventy-six
Creator
Subject
Summary
America's beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation's birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects and that placed America's survival in the hands of George Washington.In this masterful book, 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 a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It 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 King's men, 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. 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
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2005.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2005
Review
  • 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 --Staff (Reviewed October 1, 2005) (School Library Journal, vol 51, issue 10, p201)
  • /* Starred Review */ Bestselling historian and two-time Pulitzer winner McCullough follows up John Adams by staying with America's founding, focusing on a year rather than an individual: a momentous 12 months in the fight for independence. How did a group of ragtag farmers defeat the world's greatest empire? As McCullough vividly shows, they did it with a great deal of suffering, determination, ingenuity—and, the author notes, luck.Although brief by McCullough's standards, this is a narrative tour de force, exhibiting all the hallmarks the author is known for: fascinating subject matter, expert research and detailed, graceful prose. Throughout, McCullough deftly captures both sides of the conflict. The British commander, Lord General Howe, perhaps not fully accepting that the rebellion could succeed, underestimated the Americans' ingenuity. In turn, the outclassed Americans used the cover of night, surprise and an abiding hunger for victory to astonishing effect. Henry Knox, for example, trekked 300 miles each way over harsh winter terrain to bring 120,000 pounds of artillery from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston, enabling the Americans, in a stealthy nighttime advance, to seize Dorchester Heights, thus winning the whole city.Luck, McCullough writes, also played into the American cause—a vicious winter storm, for example, stalled a British counterattack at Boston, and twice Washington staged improbable, daring escapes when the war could have been lost. Similarly, McCullough says, the cruel northeaster in which Washington's troops famously crossed the Delaware was both "a blessing and a curse." McCullough keenly renders the harshness of the elements, the rampant disease and the constant supply shortfalls, from gunpowder to food, that affected morale on both sides—and it certainly didn't help the British that it took six weeks to relay news to and from London. Simply put, this is history writing at its best from one of its top practitioners. Agent, Morton Janklow. 1,250,000 first printing; BOMC and History Book Club main selections; Literary Guild and QPB featured alternates; 18-city author tour. (June) --Staff (Reviewed February 21, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 8, p164)
  • /* Starred Review */ Drawn from primary-source materials collected at more than 25 libraries, archives, special collections, and historic sites in the United States and the United Kingdom, this excellent study from Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner McCullough offers fresh insights and a deeper appreciation of the Continental Army's tribulations during the disastrous year of 1776. McCullough opens with Washington's unexpected victory during the Siege of Boston and then examines the ill-conceived New York campaign and the tortured retreat across New Jersey. Through the diary entries of freezing, sick, and poorly clad soldiers, he allows the reader to experience vicariously their searing hardships. Along the way, Washington's problems with short-term enlistments, a parsimonious Congress, indiscipline, constant dread of exceeding his authority, feuding officers, price gouging by local suppliers, and Loyalist betrayals are introduced. The book's numerous thumbnail sketches are fascinating and balanced. In particular, McCullough cites as Washington's most enduring qualities his abiding realization of what was at stake and dogged perseverance to achieve independence. Ending on an optimistic note, McCullough brilliantly captures the Spirit of '76 in Washington's miraculous victories at Trenton and Princeton. An altogether marvelous contribution that deserves to be read by every American; recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/05.]—John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs. --John Carver Edwards (Reviewed April 1, 2005) (Library Journal, vol 130, issue 6, p103)
  • /* Starred Review */ A master storyteller's character-driven account of a storied year in the American Revolution.Against world systems, economic determinist and other external-cause schools of historical thought, McCullough (John Adams, 2001, etc.) has an old-fashioned fondness for the great- (and not-so-great-) man tradition, which may not have much explanatory power but almost always yields better-written books. McCullough opens with a courteous nod to the customary villain in the story of American independence, George III, who turns out to be a pleasant and artistically inclined fellow who relied on poor advice; his Westmoreland, for instance, was a British general named Grant who boasted that with 5,000 soldiers he "could march from one end of the American continent to the other." Other British officers agitated for peace, even as George wondered why Americans would not understand that to be a British subject was to be free by definition. Against these men stood arrayed a rebel army that was, at the least, unimpressive; McCullough observes that New Englanders, for instance, considered washing clothes to be women's work and so wore filthy clothes until they rotted, with the result that Burgoyne and company had a point in thinking the Continentals a bunch of ragamuffins. The Americans' military fortunes were none too good for much of 1776, the year of the Declaration; at the slowly unfolding battle for control over New York, George Washington was moved to despair at the sight of sometimes drunk soldiers running from the enemy and of their officers "who, instead of attending to their duty, had stood gazing like bumpkins" at the spectacle. For a man such as Washington, to be a laughingstock was the supreme insult, but the British were driven by other motives than to irritate the general—not least of them reluctance to give up a rich, fertile and beautiful land that, McCullough notes, was providing the world's highest standard of living in 1776.Thus the second most costly war in American history, whose "outcome seemed little short of a miracle." A sterling account. (Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2005)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
154999
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
McCullough, David
Nature of contents
dictionaries
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Biography & Autobiography
  • History
  • Military
  • Nonfiction
Label
1776
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
4 3/4 in. or 12 cm.
Form of item
electronic
http://library.link/vocab/inputERC
True
Isbn
9780743287708
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Specific material designation
optical disk
Label
1776
Publication
Dimensions
4 3/4 in. or 12 cm.
Form of item
electronic
http://library.link/vocab/inputERC
True
Isbn
9780743287708
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Specific material designation
optical disk

Library Locations

  • James City County LibraryBorrow it
    7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
    37.377573 -76.770995
  • WRL Mobile Library ServicesBorrow it
    7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
    37.377573 -76.770995
  • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
    515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
    37.377573 -76.770995
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