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The Guns of August: The Pulitzer…

The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic about the Outbreak… (original 1962; edition 2004)

by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman

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4,222771,179 (4.28)2 / 447
Title:The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic about the Outbreak of World War I
Authors:Barbara Wertheim Tuchman
Info:Presidio Press (2004), Editie: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 640 pagina's
Collections:Your library

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The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman (1962)


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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Rereading Barbara Tuchman is always a pleasure. More than half a century after publication of her classic, her writing seems contemporary, dynamic and powerful as she covers the opening weeks of the First World War. I particularly appreciated the pains she took to include Russia's East Prussia offensive and the roles of the British, German and French navies. Her keen sense of the family ties among the sovereigns add a different perspective to the characters and the conflicts among the leaders of the European nations. I am inspired to reread her other histories. ( )
  nmele | May 25, 2017 |
For someone who had always understood World War I as boring, this book was an eye-opener. This is the second World War I book I've read in the past year, and I am getting a better picture of what was going on, and how this massive boondoggle got started. The information is extremely thorough, as you would expect in a 500+ page book that covers only about the first month of the war. It is hard to follow at times, as the narrative moves back and forth, and you have to work to remember what the Russians were doing during the time she is now discussing the British Army. Still, after a short time you get a cast list settled in your head, and that helps to keep at least some things straight. Overall, it was easy enough to follow; I do feel it could have benefited from a bit more brevity, ala Polonius. ( )
  Devil_llama | Jan 27, 2017 |
Go ahead and criticize Tuchman's "unscholarly" approach all you want, this book makes the beginning of WW I clear and understandable for the lay reader. She managed to keep me clear on the identities and roles of many, many historical figures whom I had never encountered before and keep my interest throughout the events. I felt compelled to keep reading. Her books are a gift to those of us who are not scholars of the period but want to understand one of the pivotal events of our time. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
Nope. Maybe it is this particular audiobook version, but I'm really not feeling the love for this book.

With The Guns of August, Tuchman wrote this incredibly detailed account of the first month of WWI - and the detail is staggering, so much so that it might even be somewhat overwhelming and that somehow this detail detracts a little from what otherwise looks like a one-sided portrayal. I mean the detail staggering (and the only aspect that kept me reading this far) and includes a lot of detail of the politics, personalities, military strategy, philosophical motivations, etc. of all parties involved.
However, what I cannot get passed is that the well-known (western) figures (Foch, Churchill, etc. - even Haig and French of whose short-comings Monty later wrote without holding back) come out pretty well, whereas the less well known (and for the most part Russian and German) personalities seem to be caricatures. There is a lot of national stereotyping - but maybe this is just exaggerated by the narration of this particular audiobook version which aims to read different characters in actual accents. (Why???)

It is seriously making me dislike the book. ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
It's conservative in analysis and conclusions, but undeniably a prose masterpiece. ( )
  librarianbryan | Jun 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara W. Tuchmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massie, Robert K.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The human heart is the starting point of all matters pertaining to war.
--Marechal de Saxe
Reveries on the Art of War (Preface), 1732

The terrible Ifs accumulate.
--Winston Churchill
The World Crisis, Vol. I, Chap. XI
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So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345476093, Mass Market Paperback)

"More dramtatic than fiction...THE GUNS OF AUGUST is a magnificent narrative--beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained....The product of painstaking and sophisticated research."
Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman has brought to life again the people and events that led up to Worl War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, THE GUNS OF AUGUST will not be forgotten.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:08 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A Pulitzer Prize-winning recreation of the powderkeg that was Europe during the crucial first thirty days of World War I traces the actions of statesmen and patriots alike in Berlin, London, St. Petersburg, and Paris: how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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