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. Late in , George Washington led a bold attack on the British at On Independence Day, historian David McCullough talks with Neal. By David McCullough. Illustrated. pp. Simon & Schuster. $ THIS is a sly book, beginning with its title, "" It's a story of war, not.


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By David McCullough | Kirkus Reviews

He hesitated and made bad mistakes. In their only stroke of first-class generalship, 1776 david mccullough British landed on Long Island and pulverised his army.

But Howe's 'failure to pursue' allowed Washington to get the survivors back across the East River in small boats: There followed long and complicated campaigning in what is now New York's outer suburbia, 1776 david mccullough the Americans evacuated New York and were driven slowly back, losing battle after battle, until they crossed the Hudson into New Jersey.


From there, Washington and his dwindling, exhausted army retreated southwards to Newark and then across the Delaware. Congress had already fled from Philadelphia to Baltimore.

David McCullough Revisits '' : NPR

Washington thought the army game was up; it would have to be guerrilla warfare in the Alleghenies. But then Howe stopped and blew a whistle for half-time.


This is a well written, conventional war history, illustrated with quotations from the letters and diaries of men and some women on both sides. The American witnesses are wonderfully observant and articulate; they were mostly well-educated volunteers who already 'enjoyed a higher 1776 david mccullough of living than any people in the world', as McCullough reminds us.

But narrowing the subject to one year has drawbacks as well as advantages. The plus is that McCullough is offering one more irresistible narrative of a fabled Long March, from hope through despair to hope again, which is the tale of Xenophon and many others. The minus is the lack of political background, which 1776 david mccullough perfunctory.

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So 1776 david mccullough York and Long Island were full of 'loyalists'? What were their own dreams for America and what happened to them in the end?

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So Washington was a slave-owner and a friend of liberty? Plenty has been written about that elsewhere, but at least a sample should have entered this book. McCullough inserts profiles of his leading actors.


Some work better than others. George Washington, a man of marble famously hard to penetrate, remains opaque.

There's any amount of secondary evidence that his men adored him, that he had the gift of transmitting confidence. But why and how?

He who hesitates...

What McCullough does show is that Washington had the incredibly rare gift of learning from the criticism of subordinates. After Long Island, he discovered that some of his commanders thought he was hopelessly indecisive. He considered 1776 david mccullough, apparently agreed, and simply made himself more decisive.