Barbara Tuchman's great study of the first month of World War I is still timely after 40 years of its first publication. It is mostly political and military history, perspectives that contemporary historians frown upon. But there's no denying that the military and political decisions made by all sides between the 4th of August and the 15th of September 1914 changed the world. Nadia May, as always, does a magnificent job of narrating.
This book is about the first months of the war and a description of the challenges faced by both sides in those early days. I would place the book half way between a text-book and a novel. If you read a lot of history books, this is one of the best.
I really enjoyed this book, but I think it is important to note that Tuchman focuses only on the outbreak of WWI...so do not expect a comprehensive history of the war. Nevertheless, she does a wonderful job painting the pictures of the characters and the detail of the war planning and execution is outstanding. Her detail can be a little much at times, but it is worth it overall. I would recommend this for anyone who wants a deep look at the outbreak of the war and the planning that lead to it. The narration is really good.
It is no wonder that Barbara Tuchman won the Pulitzer prize for this excellent book, which clearly describes the factors contributing to the outbreak of the First World War, and charts the early days of the war. It is hard for us to imagine today the toll the Great War took on a whole generation of young men and the absolute futility of the endeavor. The presentation by Nadia May is of such quality and commitment that it is easy to believe that it may actually be Barbara Tuchman herself speaking to us. All in all, a highly recommended, entertaining and very educational presentation.
The tangled web that is the origin of WW1 is brilliantly unravelled in this book. I have explored this topic over many years and volumes and have never found a clearer explanation of how the world slipped, inexorably, into the maelstrom.
Tuchman's style is, as always, lucid and to the point and the narrator carries the story in her own inimmitable way.
An all round good experience and highly recommnded to anyone wanting to understand how otherwise intelligent men got the world into such a mess.
Great book to read to gain greater insight to the origins of the Great War. Great discussion of the personalities that made the period (though comprehension maybe a little tricky if one has little knowledge of the War to begin with). Well worth the read.
The narration is delightful, a pleasure to listen to. I found the book to be very interesting if perhaps little one-sided and a bit dated.
Absolutely amazing book on how WW1 started and the first month. No other book has come close to informing the reader on the intricacies of why WW1 occured.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
Amazing how the machine was turned on, couldn't be stopped and then we had a four year 'train wreck' with the next 100 years affected. Worth the listen to.
Although, I agree with many of the negative remarks made here, I quite enjoyed this audiobook. The portraits of the men behind the war are caricatures, but they are entertaining in a salacious sort of way. These unfailingly foolish power brokers are portrayed cartoonishly, but the resulting cartoon is of the highest quality. One does develop an understanding of how a cataclysm on the order of WWI could have occurred, although the nagging feeling that there is more to the story persists throughout. I know substantially more about the Great War than I did before I listened to this book, but I didn't come away with the broad understanding of the tide of human events that one gets from, say, Keegan's books.
Regarding the narration, I thought Nadia May did a good job, with one huge (almost unpardonable) exception: those ridiculous accents. In a book already a bit short on gravitas, it seems criminal to undermine it further by having a British woman attempt to mimic German, French, Russian, and (worst of all) American accents when relating dialogue or written correspondence from people of those nationalities. It serves no purpose other than to irritate.
On the whole, an entertaining and productive way to spend ten hours in the car, but be prepared to wince whenever a French, German, Russian, or American figure speaks.