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“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 Paperback edition.
To many people, W.W.I seems like ancient history. To me, it is the most fascinating of wars. It is when the modern world began, or, in Barbara Tuchman's opinion, when the 19th Century ended. My late Great Uncle Jimmy, a Brit, joined the Army at the age of 16 by lying that he was 18 after being encouraged to do so by a recruiter. Where did they send him? To Ireland, to train horses for the cavalry! This was the same war that saw the debut of the airplane, submarine, tank, poison gas, machine gun, flamethrower, and hand grenade!
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning history, Tuchman writes about the turning point of the year 1914--the month leading up to the war and the first month of the war. This was the last gasp of the Gilded Age, of Kings and Kaisers and Czars, of pointed or plumed hats, colored uniforms, and all the pomp and romance that went along with war. How quickly it all changed, and how horrible it became. Tuchman is masterful at portraying this abrupt change from 19th to 20th Century. And how she manages to make the story utterly suspenseful, when we already know the outcome, is the mark of a great writer, and a classic volume of history.
Doug Grad, Editor
One of the best, if not the best, books on how Europe percolated into the folly of WW1. A must-read for understanding why conflicts get ahead of us and turn into slaughter, to the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by DDolsen
Not only a snoozer but I got conned into reading this book being told it would fairly look at the German point of view. It didn't. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jason Bertucci
Barbara Tuchman has taken all the details of August 1914 and produced an incredible book. Europe is unwittingly falling into the vortex of The Great War. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Patrick Sullivan
A masterpiece of research.An excellent writer whose awards were well earned.The story is complex,the characters even more so. Read morePublished 10 months ago by creekside