In this New York Times bestseller, historian Thomas Fleming examines all the dimensions of the memorable year of 1776 - particularly the common, fallible humanity of the men and women of the American Revolution. The year 1776 ended with both the Americans and the British stripped of their illusions. Each side had been forced to abandon the myth of invincibility and confront the realities of human nature on and off the battlefield. For the Americans, it had been a shock to discover that it was easy to persuade people to cheer for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but it was another matter to convince them to make real sacrifices for these ideals. For the British, their goal of achieving proper subordination of America to England was frustrated forever. Seventeen seventy-six was a tragic year: Americans fighting in the name of liberty persecuted and sometimes killed fellow Americans who chose to remain loyal to the old order. Seventeen seventy-six was a year of heroes: It brought forth the leaders who had the courage to fight for freedom. Seventeen seventy-six was a disgraceful year: Americans revealed a capacity for cowardice, disorganization, and incompetence. Here, in this masterful book, is the true story of 1776.