In reading The Guns of August one must ask questions about the world past and present. The fact that the Allies let Germany rise again so soon after "The Great War" is amazing. The Germans were horrendously aggressive in the first WW and every one knew it.
As incomprehensible as the outcome of this history seems it should give us pause about the current situation today and the parallels developing in the 21st century.
Well done book, however I couldn't imagine some one would be able to follow along without some cursory knowledge of world war 1 before hand.
Probably not. Got this book because it has such a reputation. Having read a couple of other books on WW1 this one is old, well written, but focusing on things that are good as a recounting of facts, but without interesting context. Probably was the best thing around when it was written. Now... a bit worn out...
yes. but his using french accents... for everyone , russian , french etc is a bit weary ...
get a different book. this one is much better, but its purpose is different... http://www.audible.com/pd/History/To-End-All-Wars-Audiobook/B004YX3N0I Beyond that..get Dan Carlin's Hard Core History shows
I would not recommend this audio book for two reasons. It's a ton of information to digest in audible form. I think I'm going to go back and actually read this book. I couldn't keep the information straight as I was listening.
Second, the narrator was really a distraction. The accents he was using really were not necessary and should not have been used. I found myself getting more and more irritated and was focused more on whichever accent he had just switched to rather than actually listening to the story.
I read a lot of history, but I can't think of another book - academic or "popular" that's so engaging.
For years, History of the Peloponnesian War, Crime and Punishment, and The Distant Mirror sat by my bed. I couldn't read them and I couldn't give up on them. Eventually I finished Thucydides and Dostoevsky. The Tuchman book is gone too. I never read it, but eventually I had to get rid of it.
I "finished Thucydides but gave up on Tuchman's Distant Mirror." In light of what follows that's quite a statement.
I selected this audiobook because it was long - a big bang for the buck. After an hour or two I was so engaged that bought The Book to read with, in front of, and catching up to the audio. The compelling way she selects and assembles the zillions of available factual reports from the opening days of WWI is brilliant.
I don't know how she did it, but if I wanted to pursue history as a career - even as an academic - I wouldn't start until I had was convinced that I had figured it out and could emulate her methodology - even if I couldn't compete with her style.
John Lee is superb in this as in all of his performances.
Yes. Very interesting.
I was a little disappointed in the narration. The narrator's practice of adopting accents when quoting various figures became a little annoying by the end of the book. This is a history, not a novel or dramatic reading, so i felt that touch was unnecessary and detracted from the overall experience.
And Buffalo George
The author's premise is that the battle at the Marne, during 1914, set the course of history for the 20th century. German defeat and subsequent devolution into trench war with attendant involvement by many nations of the world meant that victory was only a temporary thing...that WWII resulted with the subsequent Cold War....all because of some commanders made bad decisions in August 1914. As Tuchman's pace setting work, it's very detailed and refers to places and things too intricate for the average reader. Perhaps, a student of WWI might enjoy it more.
As said in the foreword, this book reads like a suspense novel. The question of who would engage in war with whom is surprisingly interesting, thanks to Barbara Tuchman's ability to tell the tale. However, as things get more complex, it gets hard to follow the various names and places without a firm grip of history and geography already in hand. So many generals, so many skirmishes! Another problem with the audio version is the absence of footnotes. Surely I'd be able to make more sense of quotes and attributions if there were footnotes. Nevertheless, despite these issues, I found that I learned a great deal, and I gained a greater perspective on the root causes of the terrible "Great War" than I'd had previously. (Though I wonder if perhaps her view of the Germans was overly- tainted by the horrors of WWII? Hard to say, but all in all, she really portrays them as irredeemable.)