This should be required reading for students enrolled in AP World History, a college level world history course, or anyone interested in a well-structured history of the period. Brilliant, easy to listen to and understand, and thorough in its presentation of the subject matter. The book provides a remarkably personal look into the personalities and decisions that shaped the period leading up to, and ultimately determining the outcome of, the war.
I'm amazed at how some actions are taken to send a specific message, but it results in the opposite message being received. In Belgium, the Germans wanted to send a message that it is futile to resist them and Belgium should surrender immediately, but the acts of violence against civilians made the Belgians believe that the Germans must be resisted and pay for their barbaric acts.
This book is dense with events and with people, and the audiobook will move too quickly for you to pick everything up that you might while reading, leafing back, etc. Nadia May is absolutely charming in her representations of the various statesmen involved with her affected accents, but you will still get lost if this is your first foray into the events leading up to WW1.
However if you have studied the time period or have a special interest in the matter, the book/narrator combo do an amazing job of bringing the gentlemen behind these events to life. Would recommend.
Yes, B.W.Tuchman keeps the listener's interest high throughout in spite of the great depth of details she dives into but the details are not gratuitous, but carefully selected because they contribute to the overall story.
Make me think !
The performance by the reader is excellent but I wish she made more effort on foreign language dialog and names. Her use of ridiculous foreign accents to render English translations of foreign language dialogs is cartoonish and at times offensive. As a native French speaker, I also had difficulties recognizing the name of many places I am familiar with due to mispronunciation. It is not so much that she anglicizes the words but rather that she makes up the French pronunciation.
The author's thorough research and writing style brought this listener closer to understanding the complexities that shaped the Great War
The story is obviously great. The narration is decent, but this book is a terrible audiobook.
The book in print has maps. Without visual aids this is a difficult audiobook.
No idea. Gave up on the book.
Too many characters with one voice doing different characters.
Audible should state when the print version of the book has maps.
Just a regular guy that spends a lot of time behind the wheel. I don't care about the topic, if it keeps me from boredom, I'm content.
I would recommend the title, but not in audio format.
I had to listen to the book at half speed to understand the narrator. Her shrill voice always felt like it was stabbing into my ears.
WW1 action-packed beginning
A World Undone also covers WW1, beginning with the first 2 months covered here and extending to the end of the war.
No. The delivery was good, except for the major problem of german words being completely mangled. One would think that a narrator would take the trouble to use easily available internet aids to find out the proper pronunciation of the many german words used. The mangled delivery given only serves to give the impression that the narrator was too lazy to invest the minimal time required.
The first section is good but when the fighting breaks out I found it difficult to follow. I believe the author says her purpose was to cover the causes of the war up to the establishment of the stalemate in 1914. Analysis of the European powers in the decades between 1870 and the war is interesting. The depiction of the nations tumbling into war due to alliances and mobilization schedules in the summer of 1914 is rightly considered the highlight of the book. Unfortunately when the battles begin the analysis ends, and much detail is expended on the first couple months of the war. Names of various commanders and acronyms for plans and headquarters, troop movements without maps. If this was in service of a theory for how the military actions of the first few months led to stalemate, and that it could have gone another way, all this would be worth the effort. But the battles do not seem pivotal. Stalemate seems to be fated. Recommended as a library book, but not a good use of a credit.
I like to read but listening is better.
This is the sort of book that I hope for every time I download an audio book. Barbara Tuchman is a pretty safe bet. She's one of the great history writers.
As always, Nadia May is perfect in this role. I still wind up forgetting that the author herself is not the narrator. That's how well May's voice and style fit Tuchman's writing.
The great thing about Tuchman's work is that she gives detailed and educational histories that are also entertaining and even exciting. Guns of August is no exception. This isn't an audio book that you'll just turn on in the car because you're sick of the songs on your iPod. You get swept up in the story and immersed in it.
That's what's so great about Tuchman's work. It satisfies those of us who want to spend reading time educating ourselves, while also giving us the same pleasure that a novel would. Guns of August is tremendous.