Naval War College Review

Article Title



William Calhoun


David McCullough has written yet another enormously enjoyable and informative narrative history. Compared to his monumental Pulitzer Prize–winning biographies of Harry Truman and John Adams, 1776 is only a snapshot of a crucial moment in time, although it is every bit as engaging. It covers the events of the seventeen months between King George III’s October 1775 announcement to Parliament of unrelenting war against his American colonies and the arrival in Britain of the news of George Washington’s victory at Trenton in March 1777. A story of overcoming adversity, 1776 focuses on the early battles of the War of Independence, which were mainly retreats for the ragged and often exhausted Continental Army.