David McCullough: An Author and Historian Like No Other

Photo credit: Vineyard Gazette

Did you know that if not for the fog, George Washington and his troops may have been captured by the British in 1776? Where would that have put the future of 13 colonies?

That is one of many anecdotes uncovered by David McCullough, one of America’s greatest historians and authors, in my favorite McCullough book, 1776. Today, I feel like I have lost a friend. McCullough died Sunday (August 7) at 89.

While I traveled through his books, he was my guide. I imagined each word through his gentle voice that enthralled millions who listened to his work as a television and motion picture narrator.

His non-fiction works read like novels. He immersed himself in research that uncovered stories that other books about his subjects missed. Reading about history has never been so entertaining and informative.

He won a pair of Pulitzers and more awards than I can list here. I read his books before I started this blog; thus there are no McCullough book reviews on Books and My Backpack.

Another of my favorites was The Path Between the Seas, which chronicled the building of the Panama Canal. And if you think you know about the Wright Brothers, you don’t, unless you have read his book about their journey into the sky. Truman and John Adams set a high standard for biographies about American presidents. There are many more great stories that began on sheets of paper in his manual Royal Standard typewriter.

McCullough died just two months after the death of his wife, Rosalee Barnes, who was his editor.

What is your favorite McCullough book?

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