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

by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman

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3,625581,454 (4.3)2 / 398
Member:petercalluy
Title:The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic about the Outbreak of World War I
Authors:Barbara Wertheim Tuchman
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Rating:****1/2
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The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman (1962)

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Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
The amount of meticulous research Tuchman put into this book is astounding, but I just couldn't get into it. She puts so much detail into the individual battles and that's just not something I can get interested in--those parts were boring me to sleep (literally). I found myself skimming a lot of it already, and then reading it became a chore. If you're interested in detailed battles, you'll love this book. ( )
  Heather_BTC | Oct 6, 2014 |
I should note that my three-star rating describes my experience of "The Guns of August" does not reflect the book's merits. It's a very fine history book, but I found, as I did the last time I read it, that I've got no talent or patience for battlefield history, and the fact that I read a digital copy this time around really didn't help matters. Still, Tuchman's prose is excellent and her takes on the cultural climate that contributed to the start of the Great War, such as German nationalism and every major army's obsession with taking the initiative, are quite good. Fittingly, for a historian, she's also got an excellent grasp of narrative. Her accounts of the diplomatic machinations that led up to the outbreak of the war and the flight of the Goeben to Istambul are both absolutely gripping. On the centenary of the First World War's outbreak, it's probably more important than ever to remind ourselves how badly things can deteriorate in the international arena, and how quickly. "The Guns of August" still seems unnervingly relevant. ( )
1 vote TheAmpersand | Sep 17, 2014 |
I've read several books by Barbara Tuchman, and am always impressed by her writing. In this book, she covers the first 30 days of the First World War. The writing is vivid; at times, even ironic or humourous. She manages to create a sense of suspense even though we know how it all ended.

Reading this book, I was struck by the thought that World War I divided contemporary history into two distinct ages. ( )
  LynnB | Sep 9, 2014 |
Anyone wanting to learn about World War I will encounter so many references to The Guns of August that it will work its way to the top of the reading list. The 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war seemed like the perfect time to read it. Barbara Tuchman has a gift for writing that many historians would envy. Dates, locations, names, and numbers are not dry facts in her hands. They become an absorbing, page-turning account of hopes and fears, opportunities won and lost, preconceived notions, unwarranted optimism, and unappreciated pragmatism. The list of primary sources Tuchman consulted is impressive. All it lacks are footnotes or endnotes linking Tuchman's conclusions to specific sources. ( )
  cbl_tn | Sep 7, 2014 |
Maybe not a page-turner, but absolutely an eye-opener. She made the beginning of the war matter to me, when before it had always seemed basically ridiculous. She did a marvellous job of impressing the importance of chance/fortune in the unfolding of events without making them seem at all like convenient coïncidences. ( )
  drbubbles | Sep 2, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara W. Tuchmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Massie, Robert K.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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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."
CHICAGO TRIBUNE
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:09 -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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