1776 by David McCullough
(Summary taken from the book jacket) “In this stirring 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. Here also is the Revolution as experienced by American Loyalists, Hessian mercenaries, politicians, preachers, traitors, spies, men and women of all kinds caught in the paths of war. At the center of the drama, with Washington, are two young American patriots, who, at first, knew no more of war than what they had read in books–Nathanael Greene, a Quaker who was made a general at thirty-three, and Henry Knox, a twenty-five-year-old bookseller who had the preposterous idea of hauling the guns of Fort Ticonderoga overland to Boston in the dead of winter. But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost–Washington, who had never before led an army in battle.”
Oh how I love this book! I have read it a few times and definitely recommend that every American read this book at least once. I like to read it every 4th of July, just to remind myself of what our country stands for, and of the price that has been paid for our freedom. What a miracle our country is. There are many stories that I know I didn’t learn in school. McCullough is a very good writer. He’s engaging, interesting, and knowledgable. This doesn’t read like a history text book, it is very well written. I love this book! Yes, yes, yes! Every American citizen from Junior High up should read this book or have it read to them. (Now do you want to know how I really feel??? =)
Rating: It was a war, so some of it’s not pretty, but there’s no language or “intimacy.”
Recommendation: 14 years-old and up. Every student (and U.S. citizen) should read this book!