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1776 - View of the American Revolution

            1776, written by David McCullough, studies the rich history of the American Revolution from multiple points of view of the war, weaving together an epic that has stood the test of time. Though the book flows in a chronological order, McCullough focuses mainly on General George Washington and his colleagues Nathaniel Greene and Henry Knox, who, without their bravery, intellect, and perseverance, would have led the Continental Army to ruin. By focusing on the soldiers, the very heart of the Continental and British Armies, as well as the people on the top, like King George III as well as George Washington and crew, McCullough makes the story of the American Revolution both intensely human and passionate.
             The soldiers of both the British and the Continental armies are given strong backgrounds that show both sides as human, as well as giving the reader a reason for how the Continentals eventually won, despite the Brits seemingly displaying every advantage. Though it might not have seemed it to the Americans at the time, the "rank-and-file British regular was far better trained, better disciplined, better equipped, and more regularly paid than his American counterpart further, the Redcoats were in far better health over all"(166-7). So with all these statistical advantages, how then could the Continentals possibly have won against the British? One of the stronger, yet simpler reasons McCullough provides is the sheer perseverance of the Continental Army. They had something for which to fight. The British only fought for country and land. The war was no longer about "the defense of their country, or for their rightful liberties as freeborn Englishmen," but for a "proudly proclaimed all-out war for an independent America of freedom and equality" (137). It's like the old maxim of the fox and the hare- the fox (England) may run for its dinner (land), but the hare runs for its life (independence and freedom).

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