Thursday, February 3, 2011

1776, by David McCullough

Book 6

1776 has been in my library for years and is an example of a book where I really should have read the jacket first.  It was described as a companion piece to McCullough's biography of John Adams.  Of the miniseries I watched not too long ago.  1776 follows Washington and the Continental Army throughout that epic year.  I had been hoping for a bit more of the politics and a bit less of the blood.

I found an audio copy at the library, read by the author.  Totally digging that.

There is plenty to be learned here, but I started to find the battlefield campaign stuff rather tedious.  I guess that military history isn't quite my thing - I don't feel like I know Washington any better than I did before.  Except for the fact that he really, really didn't like New Englanders.  Not sure I wanted to know that.

The descriptions of the Battle of Brooklyn are pretty brilliant.  I kept thinking about how scary the Hessians were - and wasn't the Headless Horseman a Hessian?  Double scary.

The Crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton were set up nicely as the make-it-or-break-it stunt.  I either hadn't know or had forgotten that timing was of the essence because the enlistments were up at the first of the year.  On the big long list of reasons that we needed a victory was that Washington was going to have to talk his men into re-enlisting.  Pretty smooth.

This piece is really worthwhile.  But I am not sure I could have buzzed through it had David McCullough not been reading it to me.

No comments: