Book Critique: 1776 by David Mccullough

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1776, a brilliant book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, retells the story of America’s brutal battle for independence throughout the American Revolution. In an informative tone, McCullough brings the American Revolution to life as he reiterates America’s history through the incorporation of details pertaining to each of the important figures of the war as well as the story format of his well-researched book. Through the use of visual aids such as maps and pictures depicting battles as well as the inclusion of personal and formal letters, McCullough is able to portray a vision of American hardship and success on a more personal level than most historic writers.

McCullough strategically and chronologically delineates each battle of the Revolution beginning with the Battle of Bunker Hill. Throughout each of the battles, McCullough thoroughly explains the colonial struggles and accomplishments as he also displays the British as a nasty group of individuals who were hard-hearted with loyalty to the Crown. However, most of the Loyalists simply feared the British royalty as punishment for treason was overbearingly harsh. Although biased, McCullough carefully displays the American Revolution as brutal for both the British and the colonists. He writes of “the most crucial year” from a cardinal view, concentrating emphasis on American strategy rather than British strategy. He acknowledges the British’s major distress, yet he undermines the importance of the drudgery of the Loyalists, disregarding the punishments that they were forced to endure by the colonists. Some of these castigations include the practice of tarring and feathering and merciless murder.

In his story-based composition, McCullough writes to interest even the pickiest of readers. He personifies the tales of the American Revolution, allowing even the dullest of battles to become suddenly amusing. Also, he provides anecdotes of most of the leading generals of the war, allowing the...
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