Book review essays

free essayHistory books are of particular interest because they provide an opportunity to obtain valuable information about various historical figures and events. Each history book allows readers to look back and see the peculiarities of human life during a particular historical period. In this regard, the book 1776: America and Britain at War by McCullough deserves a special attention. It is dedicated to the terrible year of 1776 during the American Revolution. The author does not focus on the political circumstances that took place this year. In fact, this book is devoted to describing the events of the war that took place against the backdrop of the American Revolution. It provides readers with the opportunity to become acquainted with important American and British military figures. Moreover, it allows to understand the complexity and, at the same time, the tragedy of the American Revolution, the success of which, as it turns out, has been called into question.

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One of the most crucial figures in the American Revolution is George Washington, and the author shows his great importance in the fight for American independence. The reader has the opportunity to become acquainted with the biography of Washington and the peculiarities of his personal political formation. This information allows one to understand the reasons for actions and decisions of Washington during the struggle for independence. Despite the fact that Washington is the main figure in the book, the author also devotes his attention to other military figures of the war, including the British military command. In particular, McCullough gives readers a clear idea of ​​such military figures as General Howe, Nathanael Green, and Henry Knox. The author helps the reader to get an overall picture of their personal and professional lives.
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The main value of the above material is that it ultimately provides a picture of the military situation in 1776, as McCullough shows not only the strengths but also the weaknesses of Washington and the American and British military command. For instance, we all know Washington as a talented politician and military strategist. However, in fact, Washington made a number of mistakes, which ultimately could have led to the defeat of the Americans in this war. The year of 1776 was an important and, at the same time, heavy year of struggle and suffering. This year required of the American command to show the maximum accuracy and efficiency of the actions; nevertheless, mistakes were inevitable. In this regard, the author’s position is based on the belief that the Americans won for the simple reason that the British lost. In other words, McCullough clearly shows that the American army could have lost in the case of a more deliberate military strategy by the British. As an example, the author points out Washington’s defense of New York. Washington showed indecision, which has led to a serious error. As a result, the British occupied Long Island, which allowed them to pulverize the American army. Fortunately, the British unwillingness or inability to continue their pursuit allowed Americans to avoid imminent failure.

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I really enjoyed this book, especially the image of Washington presented in it. The author shows him as a living person prone to errors; nevertheless, the courage and dedication of Washington are undisputed. McCullough presents Washington as a collective image of both good and bad human qualities. Through this book, the reader can get a realistic image of Washington as a military strategist. He is presented as a talented person who loved architecture and a variety of beautiful niceties for a house. The reader can trace the features of the early life of Washington, his educational background, and his marriage to Martha Custis. On the other hand, Washington had such quality as the indecision which turned out to  be one of the main causes of failure of the US Army. I like that the author gives the reader the opportunity to get a truthful image of many historical figures who took part in this war. Many Americans perceive Washington as an ideal politician and military strategist; however, he was unable to avoid errors in his work. In this regard, I am impressed by the historical objectivity of the author who is trying to show the historical events and figures such as they were in reality.

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Through this book, I received a large amount of valuable historical information about the hostilities between the Americans and the British in 1776. This book can be seen as a source of objective historical perspective, allowing to see the features of the American Revolution. It seems to be a military story because it contains the notes of war veterans from both sides, including not only men but also women. Despite its writing style, this book is a unique historical encyclopedia which allows readers to immerse in the world of military events that took place in 1776. It has expanded my perception and understanding of the civil war between England and the United States because it shows the difficulty faced by not only individual American and British military commanders but also their army. I always knew that the struggle for American independence from Great Britain was full of bloodshed and suffering, but this book has allowed me to see the real situation in the US Army. As it turns out, most of the US Army is presented as an army of untrained soldiers who were deprived of a competent military leadership of their command. In this regard, I can agree with the author that the Americans won the war because the British did not continue to attack the Americans. Americans were seeking independence from Great Britain; nevertheless, they could not boast of a high military training of their soldiers or qualitative military uniforms. For this reason, the war between Britain and the United States can be regarded as a war game based not only on the strategic plans of the opponents but also on the role of randomness and unpredictability.

As one can see, this book has a number of significant advantages. First, it allows the reader to become a direct witness of the events in 1776 and see the objective reality of the American Revolution. In this regard, it has a significant impact on the common understanding of the US Army as one of the strongest armies in the world. In fact, the book shows that in the 18th century, the American army was not a strong one because, in the first place, it was deprived of the competent military administration. As compared to the US Army, the British Army looked much more organized and strong. In my opinion, the main advantage of this book is that it is a valuable source of objective historical material devoid of subjective bias. On the other hand, the book has a number of disadvantages. In particular, I believe that one of the main drawbacks is that the author gives a description of the military situation in 1776 but he leaves out the political aspects of the war. It would be useful to learn the peculiarities of the political war between the United States and the United Kingdom and the role of individual political figures. Unfortunately, the author focuses exclusively on military events that occurred in 1776.

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To sum up, one can view the book 1776: America and Britain at War by McCullough as a source of objective information about the military history of the struggle between the United States and Britain in 1776. The author uses real historical summaries and soldiers’ notes, which allows him to offer the reader an objective and unbiased picture of the year of 1776. Reading this book is a fascinating process that immerses the reader into the world of wins and losses, sufferings and hopes. Each reader has the opportunity to choose favorite characters and to trace their role in the fight for the freedom of Americans. In this regard, the image of Washington is notable. Americans used to consider him almost a perfect political and military figure in the history of the United States. Nevertheless, this opinion was not objective. In fact, Washington had a number of personal shortcomings which played a negative role in the military policy of the United States. His indecision could have led to the collapse of the US Army though he was a man who could realize the error of his actions and correct them. The book provides an objective image of the American leader. In general, this book is an excellent occasion to reconsider one’s views on historical events that took place in 1776.

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