Title: 1776Author: David McCullough
Genre: Nonfiction/HistoryPrice: $11.47 (paperback on Amazon)
McCullough is also able to offer pieces of personal information that one may not have had through a basic knowledge of the Revolution and it's figures. When he offers small bits of information about King George's marriage and his love for farming, you are more ready to see that while the Americans had every right to feel as though they had been wronged, King George may just be more than a crazed tyrant, and that there were more politics involved than cruelty.
McCullough also writes a great deal about Washington and his love for his burgeoning new home, Mount Vernon, providing bits of letter from the General to his friend back in Virginia, over seeing the remodeling of the home. Washington would often go from discussing how the campaign was going to what kind of paint he wanted used in a particular room. Besides the glimpses into extraordinary men's ordinary goings-on, McCullough draws from the diaries and letters of unknown men, young men often farmers turned soldiers. These accounts of the war and what it was "really" like provide a human side that often isn't felt in a U.S. History class.
My one complaint with the book were the occasional bouts of awkwardness in the writing. There would be times when I had to stop and reread a sentence or passage several times. The wording would not connect as clearly as it could. This made getting through the book as quickly as I'd like very difficult.
All in all, the book provided a unique look at a year in our country's history. By providing a personal side to the Revolutionary War and allowing a glimpse into the lives of our country's heroes, McCullough creates a vivid account of our country's birth and reminding us all of how truly lucky we are.
Comparable Reads: Not being one to read a lot of non-fiction, I can't think of anything that is comparable off the top of my head. McCullough has written several other historical books, including a Pulitzer Prize winning biography of John Adams (HBO made a mini-series based off the book).
Who this book is for: I think this book is for the average Joe who's taken some interest in his country's history. McCullough's style caters to a more broad audience, not just the history buffs who enjoy miring through complex and antiquated texts. Because McCullough breaks down what's happening instead of assuming we all paid attention in U.S. History, the book is more enjoyable and reads like a novel. It think it would also make an especially great read (at least parts of it) for a high school history class, or would even make a good example for a high school English class in how even non-fiction texts can have a voice and plot and don't have to be dry and boring.