1776: A Superior War Novel
Pulitzer Prize winner, David McCullough, authored the intense and well-researched novel 1776 about the tumultuous times of American independence from the British Empire. He recreates scenes of heroic battles as well as dramatic encounters between diplomats with outstanding details to support his writing. In his acknowledgments, McCullough informs the reader that the material in his novel came from over 25 libraries, archives and historic sites in both the United States and the United Kingdom. McCullough’s history lesson in his novel 1776 does more than just teach the reader; it puts them into the setting of pre-revolutionary war America. The book begins in 1775 with King George III of England’s declaration of war against the rebellious American colonies. After that, the plot quickly escalates to introduce General George Washington, the leader of the American troops, who had not led any army into battle prior to the war with England. The first battle at Bunker Hill is a crushing defeat for the patriots, but their ability to put up a fight is remarkable to even the British Army, led by William Howe. Their determination to win independence keeps the troops’ morale up, and soon they begin winning battles. Neither side, despite England’s clear superiority in weapons and skill, wins battles easily. Washington’s army contains men of every background and age, but lacks training and experience. The advantage of fighting in their own territory turns out to be crucial in some of the American’s victories. McCullough gives details of the Revolutionary movement through the eyes of many different types of people. American Loyalists, Hessian mercenaries, politicians, preachers, traitors, spies, men, and women are all affected by the war in unique ways. Each point of view offers a better understanding of a person’s situation during the war. At the center of this novel stand two young patriots in Washington’s troops:...
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