To celebrate Washington's birthday: 5 best books about George Washington

2. 1776, by David McCullough

If you want to understand Washington's invaluable role as commander in chief of America's revolutionary army, you can do no better than to pick up a copy of 1776, one of David McCullough's masterworks of popular history. McCullough has the gift of making thoroughly researched history read like a novel. This book is an absolute page-turner and most contemporary readers – even those who think they already know the story of the birth of the United States – will be surprised by the power of this narrative. (CSMonitor review 5/25/04)

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