Book Review: 1776

1776 coverAuthor: David McCullough

Number of Pages: 386

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Release Date: May 24, 2004

“America’s most acclaimed historian presents the intricate story of the year of the birth of the United States of America. “1776” tells two gripping stories: how a group of squabbling, disparate colonies became the United States, and how the British Empire tried to stop them. A story with a cast of amazing characters from George III to George Washington, to soldiers and their families, this exhilarating book is one of the great pieces of historical narrative.”


I have always loved learning about the founding of the United States, even when I was younger and in elementary school.Taking AP United States History was such a great experience for me last year, but since then I have found myself sorely missing my daily dose of old America each morning. To quench this thirst I turned to 1776 by David McCullough, and fortunately it has done the trick!

I really appreciated the way McCullough seemed to keep the reader in mind while writing this book. He wrote everything with enough detail to satisfy those wanting more, but with great clarity so that the average reader could stay on board with what was going on. It also helps that these historical events are told as a chronological narrative rather than discussed as individual pieces of a larger puzzle. It’s much easier to keep track of everything in your mind when the events flow nicely from one to the next and don’t have to be pieced together by the reader. This method of writing made it seem as though history were one grand story, which I suppose it sort of is. I also really liked the way McCullough captured the wit, brilliance, intelligence, and courage of the people involved in the war, particularly men such as Washington, Knox, and Greene. As someone who loves history, I am happy to say that McCullough truly does it justice.

Additionally, McCullough utilizes outside evidence very effectively throughout this entire piece of writing. The statistics and quotes from letters and journals that McCullough provides add context to the historical events themselves, which in turn makes the history easier to comprehend. Moreover, his ample use of evidence also enhances the impact of the history, makes the historical figures appear more real and human in our eyes, and increases McCullough’s overall credibility. Such an abundance of evidence is sure to make the reader feel confident that what he or she is reading is the truth as we know it to be today.

I did find this book to be dull and slow at times, but the occasional pictures scattered throughout did help to liven things up a bit. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I appreciate how it makes the reader realize how much happened in the single year of 1776 and how pivotal this time period was for the Americans in gaining independence. Whether read for reference, education, or pleasure, I definitely recommend David McCullough’s 1776. 

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes!



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