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1776 by David Mccullough

Started by ShooterDad, July 17, 2017, 12:48:17 PM

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Anyone read this book? It is on a list for my Son for his summer work. While I know this is a home school. He's done two appleseeds with me and I think he'd enjoy the history. If not I would.   **) but I want to make sure it is correct history. Not some made up history or stretch of it like we all know happens.


 Hi, I've read only portions of it and what I did read was very well done. 
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Awesome, I worry sometimes with public school book projects it is all too biased and not real history. Good to hear this one seems to be good.


I have a few books by David McCullough. Good author and seems to have good research. 1776 is one of my favorites, and I use some of his info in my history presentations.
"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." Patrick Henry
"We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it." Nancy Pelosi (and Paul Ryan, kinda)


I haven't yet read 1776 but John Adams by the same author was outstanding. I've also heard his book about Truman is outstanding as well. David McCullough is a solid historian.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.
We seek not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

"Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it." - John Adams in a letter to Abigail, 26 April 1777


Quote from: RedLeg on July 18, 2017, 12:01:51 AM
I haven't yet read 1776 but John Adams by the same author was outstanding. I've also heard his book about Truman is outstanding as well. David McCullough is a solid historian.


I concur.  1776 is a great read and solid history, as is Truman.  Haven't read John Adams, but I saw the HBO series based on it, and that was good.
"You can't teach Liberty by practicing tyranny." -  Mr. Happy

Pasadena Phil

David McCullough is on my very short list of favorite historical authors. When "1776" came out, he went on a book signing tour that included the Keck Auditorium at CalTech very close to where I live. It began with a first-rate 45-minute lecture followed by the book signing where he sat on stage behind a desk while a line formed off stage. One-by-one, we were each granted a full minute to talk to him while he signed up to two books. Class act. The place was mobbed. Only about 1,000 of us got in to hear the lecture but the lines outside were very long. He must have been signing for hours.

Anyway, McCullough does not fudge or embellish history. He elaborates on the events and delves into the key personalities to provide deeper insights into what happened and why. In his opening remarks at the book signing, he talked about his fascination with the many moments, especially in 1776, where but for a minor stroke of good luck, the cause would have been lost. Moments such as had the great cannon from Fort Ticonderoga not arrived at Dorchester Heights just in time to drive the British navy out of Boston Harbor, or had the wind direction changed fifteen minutes earlier to deny General Washington his fog cover as he boarded as the last man on the last boat in his escape at the Delaware crossing. "It would lead one to believe that there must surely have been a hand of divine intervention at work."(paraphrased) 

This book captures the essence of what history remembers as the "spirit of 1776". The book walks us through the year as Washington's troops suffered one defeat after another. But for those moments of "divine intervention", it sure seemed like a lost cause. But just as the British were settling for the winter after having driven Washington out of Manhattan, Washington arrives in NJ and stuns the British at Trenton and then Princeton before settling down for that long reflective winter at Valley Forge where Thomas Paine was to define a new American narrative. the one that turned the rebellion into a revolution. His "Common Sense" would offer a new proposition that the British colonists quickly adopted. the idea that this was a struggle for ALL, not just the colonial elites. We became Americans. 

The year 1776 could have ended in doom and gloom but it ended with stunning victories that led to reflection inspiring a new determination to fight to the end for a cause that had yet to be conceived. "1776" is a truly great book. And like all of McCullough's books, there are moments of sheer poetry. He writes in the same captivating manner that he speaks which makes his books stand out compared to too many history books.

I don't know which of his books are the best but I asked him to sign "1776" and "John Adams". But all of his books are "must reads".