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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 days that changed the world...
Barbara Tuchman's account of the outbreak of the First World War is the definitive book on the subject. From the political crises and entangling alliances that characterized Europe in 1914 to the "damn fool thing in the Balkans" that set the war machines in motion, Tuchman provides insight and clarity to a complex situation.
Tuchman goes beyond the...
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by Brent Wigen

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars why did so many have to die?
I finished the book with great sadness for the men who died in this war. For the millions on both sides lead to their deaths by incompetent generals, who didn't understand that technology had changed warfare since the prussian-franco war. Hungry and without ammo to fight because their supply lines from the taxpayers who reluctantly footed the bills throughout the whole...
Published on Dec 29 2002 by R. M. Williams


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5.0 out of 5 stars it appears incompetence reinforced by courage was the order of the day, Nov. 19 2013
By 
J. Thompson (Canada) - See all my reviews
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Russia forced Germany to move 2 Corps from the Western to the Eastern front. The additional German trod arrived to late to assist in the Russian Defeat, but their loss on the Western Front was to prove catastrophe to Germany on the Marne. The defeatist attitude of Field Marshall French and British failure to quickly remove him was interesting to this reader. This is a worthwhile read on the origins and beginning of WW1 highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Great war and its Awful Secrets, July 26 2013
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This review is from: The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I (Mass Market Paperback)
I haven't read any of Barbara Tuchman's books. My Dad fought in the War and wouldn't talk about it. I hope this book tells me what he went through
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, May 9 2012
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James Squires "James Squires" (St Johns, Newfoundland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Guns of August (Hardcover)
Yes,

It is always a pleasure to shop with Amazon; On Time , As Described in good condition ; and also fair prices.

I suggest Amazon to anybody who shop inline.

Thank You Again ,

James
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5.0 out of 5 stars Guns of August amazing, April 16 2012
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This review is from: The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is so revealing and sets the onset of the First World War in amazing context. I never realised how the situation in Europe was simmering just waiting to boil over. Barbara Tuchman's writing and research is brilliant. Thoroughly enjoyed it and inspired me to begin a Barbara Tuchman collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peaceniks and pantywaists should read this, March 2 2012
By 
Rick M. Pilotte "Author, artist, and solver o... (Victoria BC Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guns of August *Invoy* (Hardcover)
I see this is well reviewed and probably for the reason that this is a very well researched and peicing together of the events that brought about the first world war and an even more comprehensive exposition on how the first part of that war played out. That alone is a 5 star service to the understanding of history...as this not only explains it, but does it very well so we can see the events as they unfold in all three nations without being confused. I admit sometimes not being able to keep track of it all, (probably due to some lazier or rushing through it reading habits than on the part of the writer) but it was gripping all the same and sometimes a real page turner...not bad for a historical war expose'

But this book does something which few if any books I've read does, and it shows the mindset of three nations and the people that run those nations: Germany, France, Great Britain, and to a lesser degree USA. One thing that became stikingly apparent is how the mindset of the Nation of Germany was really the same in WWI as it was in WWII (and apparently the same as the war of 1870...which I shall have to read about at some point) and one could just see how nothing had really changed from the war I'm more familiar with (WWII) and the causes of WWI....even to how the war progressed and to how they treated the people who they overran.

The take away value of this book I think is to these "peace at any costs" people...these "I love everybody and there should never be any war" people. This book shows vividly that there are always going to be peoples and nations that have these incredibly agressive streaks permeating thier societies who cannot NOT be talked out of war when they are determined to have a war, as they will find any excuse if they think they are stronger or strongest to validate such a war even to the deliberate deception of their own and other peoples to justify their "cause".

It shows the need for these beligerants to be accounted for in how diplomacy takes place and how defences are created even in times of peace and how one , as much as one hates war, must be prepared to fight one against the ever present agressor nations when they get too aggressive and turn to bullies. People want to stop bullies but wear pink to do this? all they do is bully those who refuse to wear pink. what nonsence.

Though this is a frank unvarnished look about the first world war it is also a timeless peice that shows the way peoples tick and how one needs to prepare to match an ever present threat and is applicable in all times and places where aggressive people dwell. Yes peace is good and a blessed time, but when a country and it's people get compacent there will always be some people that will want to destroy them and take over. Peace loving nations and people should always have this in the back of their mind in how they live and create their societies to always be able, willing and ready to fight back, and not be unrealistic about expectations they place on other peoples and their mindsets. the old "can't we all just get along" wishfull thinking is blown out of the water with this book. well worth reading and considering.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, concise with a moral center, Oct. 26 2003
By 
Amazon Customer "s_mccrea" (Henderson, NV United States) - See all my reviews
The late Mrs. Tuchman, who passed on in 1989, was one of the most "popular"--the in the best sense of the word--historians of the 20th Century. She and The Durants shared the honor of enliving histriography's prose--often far deader than its dramatic personae--with not only writing of genius, but a moral center, a sense of right and wrong and possessing the courage to say so. Few novelist's rival Mrs. Tuchman's ability to plunge the reader into dramatic situations; indeed, some of the most dramatic events in mankind's history in the month of August 1914.
Anyone who accuses Mrs. Tuchman of anti-German bias has an allergic reaction to the truth.
While "guilt" is an amorphous term of little meaning, there can be little doubt--as Sir John Keegan puts it--that Germany started the war. It was <i>Germany</i> that turned a bilateral war between Austria-Hungary and Russia into the conflagration that destroyed Western civilization and gave impetus and fertilized with blood such noxious weeds as Bolshevism and Nazism allowing to flourish and prepare for a second, conclusive round of the war the Kaiser's foolish arrogance created.
Mrs. Tuchman largely avoids the larger issues of the war and focuses on her main subject: the Western Front's first climactic month--August 1914. This month has proved more pivotal in the history of the human race, the reality that you and I live in no matter where you live on the planet. By contrast, the Napoleonic Wars were little more than a reshuffling of human pawns upon a chessboard, rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic, if you were.
Mrs. Tuchman accurate describes the corrupt chaos of the Third Republic of France, a government everyone hatred but no one dared attempt a coup against for fear of the devil one DID know might come to power; of a Germany, who, in Caprivi words, got in everyone's way, frightened everyone and achieved nothing. At the head of all this was a man who, however much more intelligent and better educated than his cousin "dearest Nicky", little less a fool than that cousin; she flatly depicts the moral paralysis of British politicians more concerned with keeping power and "reform" and aghast at the idea of plunging Britian into the type of coalition war she had assiduously avoided since defeating and murdering the "Orge" decades before. She shows the careful balancing act that the realistic Cabinet members (Gray, Churchil et al)were forced to walk amongst their ministerial colleagues in order to bring Britain into the war against a Germany now on the march. Mrs. Tuchman's descriptions of these Cabinet meetings (and to a lesser their French and German equivalents) are as agonizing as the actual events themselves had to be. Only Gray and Churchill, with the longer perspective of history, realized that such mighty concentrations of wealth and military power could not be defeated in a month, a season or a year. As the drive to Paris begins to falter and finally fail, Mrs. Tuchman shows us the few hearts who realized exactly what the victory at the Marne--though this reduces none of the glory of French and British arms--portended.
Do not be fooled by a historian willing to take a moral view and willing to denounce evil, incompetence, self-aggrandizement and fools to the sunlight and expose them. Mrs. Tuchman does exactly that. And we can see that, tho' gone these fifteen years, the sting in her words still reaches the tenders spots of those who would cast gauzy revision over the facts. Sir John Keegan's excellent, if telescoped by size restrictions, "The First World War" takes the same position as does Mrs. Tuchman on the <b>fact</b> of Germany's responsibility, more specifically of William II's responsibility, for the First World War and all of that which followed.
Any attempt at controversy aside, read this book, if for no other reason than the beauty of its prose and the majestic example of a monograph it presents.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, concise with a moral center, Oct. 26 2003
By 
Amazon Customer "s_mccrea" (Henderson, NV United States) - See all my reviews
The late Mrs. Tuchman, who passed on in 1989, was one of the most "popular"--the in the best sense of the word--historians of the 20th Century. She and The Durants shared the honor of enliving histriography's prose--often far deader than its dramatic personae--with not only writing of genius, but a moral center, a sense of right and wrong and possessing the courage to say so. Few novelist's rival Mrs. Tuchman's ability to plunge the reader into dramatic situations; indeed, some of the most dramatic events in mankind's history in the month of August 1914.
Anyone who accuses Mrs. Tuchman of anti-German bias has an allergic reaction to the truth.
While "guilt" is an amorphous term of little meaning, there can be little doubt--as Sir John Keegan puts it--that Germany started the war. It was <i>Germany</i> that turned a bilateral war between Austria-Hungary and Russia into the conflagration that destroyed Western civilization and gave impetus and fertilized with blood such noxious weeds as Bolshevism and Nazism allowing to flourish and prepare for a second, conclusive round of the war the Kaiser's foolish arrogance created.
Mrs. Tuchman largely avoids the larger issues of the war and focuses on her main subject: the Western Front's first climactic month--August 1914. This month has proved more pivotal in the history of the human race, the reality that you and I live in no matter where you live on the planet. By contrast, the Napoleonic Wars were little more than a reshuffling of human pawns upon a chessboard, rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic, if you were.
Mrs. Tuchman accurate describes the corrupt chaos of the Third Republic of France, a government everyone hatred but no one dared attempt a coup against for fear of the devil one DID know might come to power; of a Germany, who, in Caprivi words, got in everyone's way, frightened everyone and achieved nothing. At the head of all this was a man who, however much more intelligent and better educated than his cousin "dearest Nicky", little less a fool than that cousin; she flatly depicts the moral paralysis of British politicians more concerned with keeping power and "reform" and aghast at the idea of plunging Britian into the type of coalition war she had assiduously avoided since defeating and murdering the "Orge" decades before. She shows the careful balancing act that the realistic Cabinet members (Gray, Churchil et al)were forced to walk amongst their ministerial colleagues in order to bring Britain into the war against a Germany now on the march. Mrs. Tuchman's descriptions of these Cabinet meetings (and to a lesser their French and German equivalents) are as agonizing as the actual events themselves had to be. Only Gray and Churchill, with the longer perspective of history, realized that such mighty concentrations of wealth and military power could not be defeated in a month, a season or a year. As the drive to Paris begins to falter and finally fail, Mrs. Tuchman shows us the few hearts who realized exactly what the victory at the Marne--though this reduces none of the glory of French and British arms--protended.
Do not be fooled by a historian willing to take a moral view and willing to denounce evil, incompetence, self-aggrandizement and fools to the sunlight and expose them. Mrs. Tuchman does exactly that. And we can see that, tho' gone these fifteen years, the sting in her words still reaches the tenders spots of those who would cast gauzy revision over the facts. Sir John Keegan's excellent, if telescoped by size restrictions, "The First World War" takes the same position as does Mrs. Tuchman on the <b>fact</b> of Germany's responsibility, more specifically of William II's responsibility, for the First World War and all of that which followed.
Any attempt at controversy aside, read this book, if for no other reason than the beauty of its prose and the majestic example of a monograph it presents.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The ants go marching..., May 7 2003
By 
Daryl Anderson (Trumansburg, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Scanning through the lists, I see that I'm clearly the contrarian when it comes to reviews of this book on Amazon - but I know I wouldn't have wasted an evening reading the first 50 pages of it if I had seen a few negative reviews such as this. Maybe I can save one or two of you some time as well.
If you are looking for a perspective on World War I which enacts its "artistic" license by comparing the German invasion of Belgium to a swarm of ants, that demonizes the Kaiser and glorifies the stalwart French and British generals - this is the book for you! I have to wonder, though -- if you think those are central elements of a description of what took place in August of 1914, why bother? You already know the history and are just looking for someone to arrange it in elegantly crafted lines. But if you believe that such lively metaphor and monochrome white-hat/black-hat perspectives could hardly explain the historical world any better than they do our own era, stay clear.
I'm no expert by any means - but I've developed an interest in the war and the era, and a year of reading WWI-related books, has led me to two conclusions: (1) it was a darn complicated chunk of history - the leading-up-to, the four-years-slaughter, and the reverberating after-effects and (2) attempts to "spin" the story have been entwined with the factual record to such a degree that they are themselves an intriguing piece of the history. Tuchman's tale neither explores the complications nor acknowledges the spin. She tells a simple tale in wonderfully dramatic language that´¿s as good as anything Tom Clancy can produce, but its designed more for the heart than the head.
There are many, many books about WWI from the inter-war period and some of them can still stand a look. But there has also been an intriguing resurgence of interest in and publishing on the war during the last decade which, itself, is a phenomenon that hints at something fascinating about who writes history and when (and how)they write it.
If you are looking for books with a perspective that goes beyond the ´¿swarm of ants´¿ approach I´¿d recommend Mosier´¿s ´¿The Myth of the Great War´¿ and Ferguson´¿s ´¿The Pity of War´¿. The former is startlingly pro-German (and pro-American - quite a combination, that) and the latter, although leaking some of the usual pro-Brit tone, constructs a quite-detailed pathway to thinking about the big ´¿what-if´¿ ´¿ if Germany had won the war. Keegan´¿s section about the Somme in ´¿The Face of Battle´¿ goes beyond the usual military history (but avoid his two ´¿Histories´¿ of the war itself) and the recent ´¿14-18, Understanding the Great War´¿ by Audoin-Rouzeau is flawed but demonstrates how even a Francophile perspective can at least explore different realms.
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4.0 out of 5 stars History can be fun and instructive, April 22 2004
Whoa! I loved this book. I like Keegan's books, too. It's hard to say which is best. Tuchman describes a lot of personalites. Keegan has more relevant facts and explore strategies better. I read both auhors will equal fervor. I plan to read her "Stillwell and the American Experience in China".
I've lent this book to several other non-history buffs and they can't get past page 50. Obvioulsy they will not be going to Amazon and entering a 1 star rating!
You should love history before opening the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Como se inicio todo, Feb. 26 2004
By 
JOSE FERNANDO (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
Es sencillamente un libro magnifico, facil de leer, aun para quienes no somos angloparlantes, muy didactico, donde parece que los actores de ese momento estuvieran hoy entre nosotros.
Fue a traves de esta obra que comence a interesarme sobre la Primera Guerra Mundial, sobre todo porque uno va entrando en forma paulatina en la voragine de los sucesos que llevaron al conflicto. La descripcion de las potencias antes del inicio de la guerra es sencilla, clara, pero no por eso menos interesante.
Esta primera etapa de descripcion de la situacion fue quiza la que mas me gusto y me llevo a leer otros libros relacionados. Los capitulos relativos a los primeros combates estan bien desarrollados y a uno le permiten visualizar como seguira en el tiempo la contienda.
He leido tres libros de la Sra. Tuchman y me parece que este es el mejor de todos, sin desmerecer al Zimmermann Telegram que me parecio tambien estupendo.
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The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I
The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I by Barbara W. Tuchman (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 3 2004)
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