Guns of August, The

Barbara W. Tuchman
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmerman Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic histories of the First World War era In this landmark, Pulitzer Prize–winning account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. Dizzyingly comprehensive and spectacularly portrayed with her famous talent for evoking the characters of the war’s key players, Tuchman’s magnum opus is a classic for the ages. Praise for The Guns of August “A brilliant piece of military history which proves up to the hilt the force of Winston Churchill’s statement that the first month of World War I was ‘a drama never surpassed.’”—Newsweek “More dramatic than fiction . . . a magnificent narrative—beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained.”—Chicago Tribune “A fine demonstration that with sufficient art rather specialized history can be raised to the level of literature.”—The New York Times “[The Guns of August] has a vitality that transcends its narrative virtues, which are considerable, and its feel for characterizations, which is excellent.”—The Wall Street Journal From the Trade Paperback edition.


Reviewed: 2019-11-12

Geopolitical state before WWI as well as the psychology of the leaders at that time.

We relive the few months before the war and the first month of the war at both fronts.

Reads reasonably well for an historical document, at least the first part.

I loved the build up to the war. How the thinkers said that there could not be another war. How the war came a lot due to fear that another would start it before and have the advantage.

The French front was interesting, maybe because it happened close to where I grew up, was well structured and is the first front described.

But I just dropped the ball on the russian front. Too messy, maybe too detailed, ... (I don't mean the writing, I mean the actually History)


I was amazed how the "aristocratics" elite of 1914, commanding the armies behave. That reminded me a lot of War&Peace showing little progress in the mindset in between.

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