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The Guns of August / The Proud Tower
by Barbara W. Tuchman (Author)
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"The Guns of August (1962), a riveting account of the outbreak of World War I and the weeks of fighting leading up to the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914. Tuchman dramatizes the diplomatic debacles that precipitated the war and the intransigence of the German and French armies as they dogmatically adhered to their battle plans, with disastrous consequences. Interwoven with her vivid re-creation of the German march through Belgium into France and the fierce fighting on the Eastern Front are astute characterizations of the conflict's key military and political leaders, among them French General Joseph Joffre, German Kaiser Wilhelm II, and British First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. The Guns of August can also be read as a cautionary study in the perils of brinksmanship, and Tuchman's searching observations about the irrational escalation of conflict among states made a deep impression on President John F. Kennedy, who famously drew on the book for insight during the Cuban Missile Crisis."--Dust jacket flap. "The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914 (1966). [Tuchman] brings to life the disparate worlds of the self-satisfied English aristocracy and the miserable poor whose conditions gave rise to international anarchism; revisits the national madness of the Dreyfus Affair in France; considers the naivet‚e and cynicism of the varied participants in the international peace conferences at The Hague; mounts a dazzling foray into cultural criticism with a meditation on the operas of Richard Strauss; and creates unforgettable portraits of such political titans as Thomas B. Reed, longtime Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and French Socialist leader Jean JaurŠes. Honoring the historian's ideal to envision life 'as it really was,' Tuchman paints a fin-de-siŠecle world 'bursting with new tensions and accumulated energies.'"--Dust jacket flap.
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