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David McCullough: An American Icon? I Think So.

(12 posts)
  • Started 6 months ago by mawnansmiff
  • Latest reply from jguss
  1. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    I read McCullough's fabulous '1776' book last year as part of my ongoing early American history self education exercise and was mightily impressed with both his writing style and his clearly in depth research on the subject.

    This lead onto his 'The Great Bridge', a stunning account of the designing and building of the Brooklyn Bridge. I have just finished that book tonight and have to say it's the best book I have read in years.....and I've read a lot of books!

    His attention to detail is astonishing, his research is unbelievable and his writing is so fluid and engaging.

    I have also bought for future reading his 'Path Between The Seas', a tale of the building of the Panama Canal and his 'Johnstown Flood', both of which I just know I will thoroughly enjoy. I'm also eagerly awaiting his 'The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West' which is due out in May this year.

    I think McCullough is to America as Pierre Berton is to Canada when it comes to historic writing, both are so engaging and make history really come alive and I'm forever thankful to the now sadly forgotten forum member who put me on to his '1776' when I queried what I ought read regards early American a couple of years ago.

    I'm now about to start 'In The Devil's Snare' (The Salem Witchcraft Crisis Of 1692) by Mary Beth Norton just for a change of pace!I

    A belated happy New year to one and all

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 6 months ago #
  2. jiminks

    JimInks

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    I agree with you. He's my favorite historian.

    I got to chat with McCullough once. A very nice man who loves and knows his history. He also appreciates his many fans. Btw, I also recommend Harold Holzer and Walter Isaacson's books.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  3. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Add to that Samuel Elliot Morrison, whose attention to detail and veracity is unmatched.

    I loved the PBS show which was largely based on McCullough's book on The Panama Canal. Good stuff, Jay.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  4. haparnold

    Hap

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    Heartily agree! I've read John Adams and The Wright Brothers, both of which were excellent.

    By the way, the HBO Miniseries adaptation of John Adams is available to stream if you have Amazon Prime. It's very well-acted and thoroughly researched, if you're interested.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 6 months ago #
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    briarbuda48

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    There is no doubt Mr. McCullough is one of the greats. Certainly is in my top five.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  6. seldom

    seldom

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    The praise for McCullough on this thread is well earned. I thought John Adams was a particularly good read.

    It may be worth noting that among David McCullough's many accomplishments and awards is the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest award given to civilians in the United States.

    Seldom Seen
    Posted 6 months ago #
  7. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    Jim, thanks for the two pointers, I shall look into their works.

    "Add to that Samuel Elliot[sic] Morrison[sic], whose attention to detail and veracity is unmatched."

    John, I recently finished his 'Builders Of The Bay Colony' which was good but in my view not exceptional. The (used) book has a very interesting bookplate pasted on the front free end paper..... "Presented to Averett Library in memory of Henley M. Fulger jr. by Miss Betty Jefferson".

    Hap and Seldom, despite my dislike of politics I've also ordered McCullough's book on John Adams, the reviews on Amazon are what urged me to make the purchase.

    I forgot to mention who I thought to be the British equivalent of McCullough, he is Simon Winchester, another writer who delves deep for his resources and produces amazing accounts of whatever subject he is writing about. My favourite of his many books is 'Crack In The Edge Of The World' a story of the great American earthquake of 1906 and it's effects on the Nation.

    Two more arrived this morning, 'Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft And Culture In New England' by John Putnam Demos and 'The Name Of War: King Philip's War And The Origins Of American Identity' by Jill Lepore.

    I may be gone a while......

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  8. kcghost

    kcghost

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    It is very rewarding when a fine historian is a great writer.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  9. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    "It is very rewarding when a fine historian is a great writer."

    How very true KC, as I said above, I'm forever grateful to whoever it was that put me on to McCullough, I certainly owe that chap a drink or two.

    Nigh on all of my American history books have actually been sourced from the States and are often ex library stock which I prefer as they have better bindings than 'regular' books plus they generally are sleeved in a quality cover.

    It might take a while to get to deepest, darkest Cornwall but I've yet to be disappointed......apart from the one time my Shelby Foote book arrived printed in Spanish

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  10. tennsmoker

    tennsmoker

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    Just a couple more for you are John Meacham and Doris Kearns Goodwin. Meacham is from Tennessee and has won the Pulitzer Prize for his historical work. I've read two: bio on Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson. In addition he has written on the founding fathers of America (have not read yet, but on my radar) and a recent tome on impeachment.

    Doris Kearns Goodwin is an outstanding writer. She wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning Abraham Lincoln and Team of Rivals. Great book on one of America's greatest presidents. It is highly detailed and researched.


    The past is never dead. It's not even past--Requiem for a Nun
    Posted 6 months ago #
  11. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    Thanks Tennsmoker, Jon Meacham's 'American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation' is now ordered

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 6 months ago #
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    jguss

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    My personal McCullough favorite by far is his book on Truman

    Posted 6 months ago #

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