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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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3,783691,376 (4.3)2 / 421
Member:petercalluy
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
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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

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Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
I picked up the softcover version of this book when I was visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Wisconsin. I remembered loving it as a high school student and was curious to see how it would read almost fifty years later.
  dhinden | Jul 30, 2015 |
Suspect in its military judgments but very valuable for its elucidation of German atrocities. ( )
  JohnPhelan | Jun 17, 2015 |
If you like your histories factual and documented, then Barbara Tuchman's "The Guns of August" is the book for you. Tuchman details the politics and the miltary planning that brought the world to the war to end all wars, and hundreds of thousands of young men to their deaths.

All the main players are covered: Germany, France, England, and Russia. The main catalyst of the war, the assassination of Austrian archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist, is only briefly mentioned, however a thorough explanation of how that event led all of Europe to take up arms follows. As the title states, this book covers only the first month of World War I, August of 1914 (although a few days in September are mentioned for continuity sake.) I was astonished to find out just how close Germany came to winning the war in that first month, if not for a few missteps and some luck on the Allies part.

All in all, a top notch history of the start to WWI. Barbara Tuchman won a Pulitzer Prize in 1962 for her extraordinary effort writing this novel. I chose this book because I didn't know very much about World War I, especially how it started, but this book surely changed that. I would bet that even the most avid history buff would acquire some additional knowledge from reading this novel. If you are interested in history, especially WWI, then I whole-heartedly recommend "The Guns of August" by Barbara W. Tuchman. ( )
1 vote NPJacobsen | Jun 6, 2015 |
interesting contrast with Antony Beevor's Stalingrad (read recently). Lots of tactics and strategy in both--I don't have the mentality to be all that enthusiastic. In her survey of the beginning of WWI, Tuchman makes the plausible case that stupidity and ignorance were the catalysts for the disaster. The assumption is that rational decisions count and the focus is on decision making at the top levels.. In Stalingrad, ideology plays a key role with decisions often the results of megalomania; rational decision making is too often secondary. In Guns of August, treatment of civilians in Belgium affects public perception and management of the war. In Stalingrad, humane treatment of civilians, prisoners, and the armies themselves is a quaint relic of the past, and this influences the historiography, which has to give equal voice to those affected by their leaders' irrational decisions. ( )
  featherbear | May 30, 2015 |
Tuchman is an excellent historian. Her prose style is dense but vivid and captivating. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
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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 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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