Washington's daring escape from Brooklyn

David McCullough reads a passage from his book "1776" about the moment that, he says, saved the fate of our country

We're trying something new this week on Overtime: a book reading. But not just any book, and not just any reader. It's the great historian David McCullough, reading an excerpt from his book 1776 about the American Revolution.

If the voice sounds familiar, it's because McCullough is a regular narrator of documentaries, as well as of the movie "Seabiscuit." And if the writing sounds familiar, it's because McCullough is the author of nine best-selling books that have brought history alive for millions of readers.

Says Morley Safer about McCullough: "David McCullough is in love with America's history, from its struggling birth to its soaring achievements. In turn, American readers are in love with David McCullough -- more than 10 million copies of his books are in print."

The excerpt McCullough reads in focuses on a strategic decision by General George Washington in August 1776 to sneak out of Brooklyn at night, after his troops suffered a crushing defeat by the British army. Note that we have edited this material for length. The audio recording comes to us courtesy of Simon & Schuster Audio.

Selected images from The New York Public Library / Art Resource, N.Y.
Simon & Schuster is a company owned by CBS.