The book 1776

10 October 2016

The book starts off with the battle of Bunker Hill, where the Americans are defeated by the British. The Americans recovered and attempted an attack on Boston. The British were caught by surprise, causing them to surrender and retreat back to England on their ships. The American spirit could not be any higher and Washington earned many great honors. After returning back from England, the British victory would no longer last. They had with them a substandard navy that would leave the America’s speechless. America’s then went to New York and lost Boston with no trouble.

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The British highly underestimated the Americans and thought they could defeat them without any problems. Americans were then forced to retreat to New Jersey, causing them to lose valuable territories. Many Americans contradicted themselves and went back to the British to show their loyalty towards the king. The British then had many more defeats and retreats by General Washington and his inexperienced army. While British had many navy based ports, Washington was suffering from his loss with other states. Washington’s army soon began to doubt him, but kept everyone all together.

The turning point came when Washington demanded his army to cross the Delaware River and then began the Battle of Trenton. It was the first battle that gave the Americans hope for the cause after the British evacuation of Boston in 1775. Washington was beginning to become a mythical figure after he led the defeat of the British and pushed them back out of Trenton. 1776 focuses tightly on the events of one single year, one that saw 13 colonies of British North America break with the mother country and commence the long and bloody struggle to form a new nation.

McCullough’s account brings us closer than ever to the familiar figures of the conflict, such as George Washington and King George III, while introducing us to a larger cast of characters whose lives history has nearly overlooked, the soldiers and citizens whose sacrifices made the new republic possible. On its publication in 2005, McCullough’s 1776 received glowing reviews and became an instant bestseller. David McCullough was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a student at Yale he met the author Thornton Wilder, and after considering careers in politics and in the arts, was inspired to become an author.

After college McCullough moved to New York City and worked as an editorial assistant at Sports Illustrated. “Swept up by the excitement of the Kennedy era,” he moved to Washington and became an editor and writer at the United States Information Agency. In 1964, he became a full time editor and writer for American Heritage. He wrote his first book at night and on weekends while working full time. The Johnstown Flood, inspired by the great catastrophe that struck his native region in 1889, was an unexpected bestseller in 1968. Its success emboldened him to quit his job and commit to a full time writing career.

Since then he has published a series of many different types of history and biography books, all of which have won a giant popularity with the reading public. The Great Bridge (1972) recounted the building of Brooklyn Bridge. The book has served as the basis of a memorable documentary film, which was nominated for an Academy Award. David McCullough’s own voice was heard as the narrator of this film, and of The Johnstown Flood. In Mornings on Horseback (1981), McCullough recounted the youth of President Theodore Roosevelt. The book won him a second National Book Award, this time for Biography.

In the 20 years since McCullough has taken an interesting interest in the lives and character of America’s presidents. He was awarded his first Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for his biography of President Truman, and is often called upon to discuss the presidency in the news media. At the time of his interview with the Academy of Achievement, David McCullough had begun work on a biography of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The second and third presidents were allies in the struggle for independence, but became unpleasant rivals in the early years of the republic.

After their back-to-back presidencies, they resigned and carried on a warm and intriguing correspondence for the rest of their lives. By an unexpected coincidence, they died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of America’s independence. As his work on the book progressed, McCullough became increasingly intrigued with the character of John Adams. Convinced that Adams had not received his historic due, in comparison with the more celebrated Jefferson, McCullough decided to dedicate his entire book to Adams.

The result topped The New York Times bestseller list from the week it went on sale, and won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. McCullough continued to explore the events and personalities of the revolutionary era in 1776. In the process of writing the book, David McCullough was so interested in researching more on John Adams. He went back to the date of when John Adams had signed the Declaration of Independence and stopped researching on the date America had finally signed the Peace Treaty. All of the events that led up to then were all in chronological order and were in basic details.

As he was researching, he came across General George Washington and decided to research him some more too. He had found out that due to his inexperienced self, the America’s had lost everything that they ever had. Eventually they gained it back, whenever they signed the Peace Treaty with Britain. While reading this book, I found out the basic history of the mid 1770’s and how America had gotten everything that they once owned back. David McCullough expressed the important dates very well. The way he started this book was marvelously outstanding.

It actually allowed me to open and feel like I was there whenever I was reading it. Nothing else would have taught me so much more than this one. During the reading, I noticed how David McCullough kept mentioning General George Washington and his army. Seeing how he was not there whenever the wars and the Declaration of Independence was being signed, he managed to go back and research tons of information that allowed him to express his thoughts. It sort of inspired me to look further more into history about the United States.

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