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1776 [Audio]
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In this stirring audiobook, 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 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 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. But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost -- Washington, who had never before led an army in battle. The darkest hours of that tumultuous year were as dark as any Americans have known. Especially in our own tumultuous time, 1776 is powerful testimony to how much is owed to a rare few in that brave founding epoch, and what a miracle it was that things turned out as they did. 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.
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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 2007 Reed Business Information.

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 2005 Reed Business Information.

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. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

..".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." -- Library Journal "A master story-teller's character driven account of a storied year in the American Revolution. A sterling account." -- Kirkus, Starred Review "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. ...Simply put, this is history writing at its best from one of its top practitioners." -- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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