David McCullough

A landmark narrative of American history, David McCullough’s 1776  is published as a stunning Folio edition with newly researched paintings, sketches and maps from the era, and a striking pictorial slipcase.


‘A stirring and timely work, reminding us that it’s soldiers rather than “tavern patriots and windy politicians” who have always paid the price of American idealism and determined its successes.’

  1. New York Times

Focusing on a single year during the American War of Independence, 1776 tells two gripping stories: how a group of squabbling, disparate colonies became the United States, and how the British Empire tried to stop them. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough’s remarkable narrative uses first-person accounts to relive a series of events that not only altered the course of the conflict but also the history of the world. Illustrated with archive images, the edition includes a selection of classic paintings by John Trumbull, the ‘Painter of the Revolution’, and portraitist Charles Willson Peale, as well as original battle plans and hand-drawn maps. There is also a collection of integrated black-and-white sketches of the British naval force by British officer Archibald Robertson.

Production Details

Bound in blocked buckram

Set in Ehrhardt

432 pages

24 pages of colour plates and 7 integrated black & white sketches and 3 black & white maps

Pictorial slipcase

9½˝ x 6¼˝

The turning point in the war for independence

‘McCullough demonstrates, once again, why he is America’s bestselling historian’

  1. Anne Applebaum, Spectator

1776 is remembered not only as America’s birth date – the year that the Declaration of Independence was signed – but also the year that signified a reversal of fortune for the American army. For the first time, it seemed possible that the fledgling country and its ragtag army might have a chance against the mighty British Empire: ‘the most powerful and efficient machine for waging war in the world’. McCullough focuses on three significant clashes in 1776: success at the Siege of Boston; defeat in New York; and victory at Trenton. This change in fortune resulted in a growing confidence and the ragtag volunteer army began to truly believe that they could defeat the British.’. It’s a story with a magnificent cast of characters from George III to George Washington; and from soldiers on the frontline to the loved ones they left at home. Throughout, McCullough’s portrayal of Washington is insightful and reveals him in a very human light. Despite his inexperience – he never led an army into battle – and his deficiencies as a military strategist, he was a fine leader of men; he never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up.

Eyewitness history by a world-renowned historian

David McCullough is one of America’s finest historians, known for bringing texts alive with his thrilling, dramatic and accessible writing. In 1776, he includes extracts from more than 50 diaries, memoirs and correspondence on both sides of the conflict. These include the personal writings of John Greenwood, a 16-year-old foot soldier in Washington’s army. ‘After a while it rained, hailed, snowed, and froze […] When I turned my face to the fire, my back would be freezing. However … by turning myself round and round I kept myself from perishing.’ The edition is illustrated with a wide selection of newly researched, full-colour images. There are military portraits by Charles Willson Peale and famous paintings by John Trumbull, including The Declaration of Independence and The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, which adorns the slipcase. Also included is a series of seven integrated black-and-white sketches of the British naval force by Archibald Robertson. An English officer, Robertson captured the action and his eyewitness sketches offer invaluable insight into the progress of the fleet and its arrival at different locations.


David McCullough is a historian and biographer, one of America’s most respected and honoured writers. He has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman (1992) and John Adams (2001), which remains one of the most praised and widely read biographies of all time, and twice received the National Book Award for The Path Between the Seas (1977) and Mornings on Horseback (1981). His other acclaimed books include The Great Bridge (1972), The Greater Journey (2011), The Wright Brothers (2015), The American Spirit (2017) and The Pioneers (2019). McCullough is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and he has also been awarded the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Gold Medal for Biography given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


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