Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately each month on the 15th. Brought to you by Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy, we link up on her blog to see what others are reading!
1776 by David McCullough
In this masterful 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, an his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.
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 – Nathaniel Green, 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. 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.
Thoughts so far:
This has been on my TBR shelf for a long time! As the American holiday was over a week ago, I think that that was the inspiration I needed to dive into this historical read. I am not usually a nonfiction fan unless it is memoir-based. I need what I read to feel like a story with strong narration and not just facts on a page. 1776 does just that as the story connects what is happening in England with King George III as well as George Washington and other younger patriots who had the book smarts for the war but not the military experience. I feel that it was so long ago when I learned about the American Revolution, but now I have a better understanding of the circumstances as well as the character of each of the famous players in this war. McCullough writes with a balanced mix of story-telling and quotes from letters and other historical documents. His research is quite thorough as even minute details are shared effortlessly.
What have you been reading lately?