David McCullough: 1776


On the way home from New York last week, I picked up 1776 by David McCullough. I love Colonial and Revolutionary War history and have always enjoyed McCullough's other books, so this was an exciting find.

1776 is a history of the first year or so, of the Revolutionary War and while it's not exclusively about George Washington by any means, he is the central character in the book. Congress, the Declaration of Independence, and other notable events are dealt with peripherally as they affected the young American Army and its commanders.

The biggest lesson to draw from the first year is "don't give up." There were a few ups for the American Army, but many more disappointments and it's easy to see how many would have thought that there was no hope, but Washington and his generals persevered and finished the year with a mostly symbolic, but vitally important victory at Trenton, NJ.

I hope that McCullough is going to write more about this story. He's an excellent writer of history, making the subject seem fresh and exciting. This is a book worth putting on your summer reading list.