I have been reading this book since around last November. So, needless to say, it has taken me awhile! It took me about 8 months to get through the first quarter of this book because it was just so much information that it was hard to pick it up and think that hard. But the last three quarters of the book started to make a lot more sense and was actually really good. In fact, today I picked it up to finish it, thinking I had about a quarter left to go, and after about 10 pages I was done! So what were the rest of those pages? References!
That was one of the amazing things about this book. David McCullough put so much research into this book and as a result, it was so detailed! After I saw all of those reference pages it made me really appreciate the accuracy and all of the cool facts that I learned along the way.
Without giving anything away about the book, there were two major takeaways for me. The first was my perception of George Washington. He is so often this glorified general and President, but this book really humanized him. Without disrespecting him, it showed some of his major struggles and pitfalls. It also showed that through all of those struggles he made it a point to be among the men and encourage them. Just because you are the leader doesn’t mean that you know everything or make all of the right decisions, but if you have the respect of your people, you can do amazing things!
The second thing I learned is how incredibly difficult the struggle of 1776 and the seven years following were. It’s amazing that it even went seven years based on that first year. This book is definitely worth reading to open your eyes to the reality of the war that brought freedom to our country. We definitely owe our founding fathers, and more importantly, those ragged troops a debt of gratitude!
Concluding thoughts on 1776: If you want to dig down deep on the founding years of our country, this is definitely the book for you. If you are looking for a quick and easy read, find another book!