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The Guns of August Audiobook

The Guns of August

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Publisher's Summary

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, historian Barbara Tuchman brings to life the people and events that led up to World War I. 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 masterfully portrays this transition from 19th to 20th Century, focusing on the turning point in the year 1914: the month leading up to the war and the first month of the war. With fine attention to detail, she reveals how and why the war started, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't, managing to make the story utterly suspenseful even when we already know the outcome.

©1990 Dr. Lester Tuchman; (P)2005 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"More dramatic than fiction...a magnificent narrative¿beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced...The product of painstaking and sophisticated research." (Chicago Tribune)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2059 )
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4.2 (1405 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D. Craven Chicago, IL USA 02-05-16
    D. Craven Chicago, IL USA 02-05-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb History Told Well"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Guns of August to be better than the print version?

    No. I think that both versions hold up equally well. It is a compelling story well told by a knowledgeable historian.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Tuchman manages to capture the full scope of the first month of the Great War with detail and a flair for the right level of detail


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Thematically, I think that she truly captured the spirit of the time with her discussion of the Funeral of Edward VIII.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Guns of August were much louder than the Guns of June or July...


    Any additional comments?

    A compelling history of an important period.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David R. Pratt Ponte Vedra Beach, FL USA 01-22-16
    David R. Pratt Ponte Vedra Beach, FL USA 01-22-16 Member Since 2015

    Film Buff

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    "Another May-reading-Tuchman winner!"

    I can't imagine a different narator being as in-tune with Tuchman's tone as Nadia May (aka Wanda McCaddon). The author gives the subject matter the writing skills it deserves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory T Menzel 01-03-16 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    Story
    "Great Story, too dense for audiobook format"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Drop the accents


    Any additional comments?

    I am a big history buff (particularly history of the world wars) and a large consumer of both traditional books and audio books but this one missed the mark for me. The writing and the story are both terrific (I ended up reading the kindle version). The book is very detailed and insightful, but in my opinion, the audiobook is just not a great format for this particular tale and the narration made it even worse. Firstly, there are simply too many names and locations in this book to sort out and many of those names sound similar. The fact that most are non-english makes them all the more challenging to track when read aloud. That, combined with the narrator Nadia May's awful and frankly distracting use of "accents" caused the story become incredibly difficult for me to follow. I regularly found myself spacing out only to realize that I had missed large sections of the story which, as an historical account, meant that I was missing important facts in the chain of events. I think even if the narration was not a distraction, this would be a tough book to listen to. In my opinion, reading the information on a page simply allows for more retention and in this book, the information is dense and critical to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael brown 12-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Best Book on WW1 I've Ever Read!"

    Great writing, great reading and an excellent non-fiction choice for a listener interested in history; its insights into the mindsets of those involved in the "Great War" are unique. This is truly worth ones money and, more importantly, ones time. If you like history, add this book to your list of inerests!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr BJ Sweeney 09-25-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Gripping."

    A story of brutality and survival - the first 6 weeks shaped the outcome of the next 4 years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles E. Alexander 08-29-15
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    98
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    Story
    "Got bored after 20 minutes and abandoned the book"
    What would have made The Guns of August better?

    Less recitation of facts, like the begats in the Old Testament, would have made a better beginnig.


    Has The Guns of August turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    A cross between a lector in church and a high school drama teacher


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Sure: it won the Pulitzer Prize.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe I'll try a print version some day, after I run out of audio books to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A User 08-04-15
    A User 08-04-15
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    "Very good historical account. Very vivid"

    Masterful work that really makes it come alive and gives you the worts and all

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ZoeDesprit 07-12-15
    ZoeDesprit 07-12-15
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    "THE Classic History of 1914, Masterful Narration"

    What can I say? These two women totally kill it. Barbara Tuchman is just one of the greatest historians ever, and this is her "greatest hit". Nadia May combines a lovely classical voice with such subtle authority that you forget she's the narrator and not the writer herself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Lefler Far Hills, NJ United States 06-29-15
    Patrick Lefler Far Hills, NJ United States 06-29-15
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    2
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    "Great read (listen)"

    The book was everything and more. What a tragic month August 2014 was... Let's hope we never repeat it ever again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 06-04-15
    Jessica 06-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "GREAT writing suffers somewhat in audio version"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the opening chapter, concerning the funeral of Edward VII and discussion of European politics, diplomacy and the inter-relations of the royalty. Also, I thought the author was insightful and I liked her description of some of the key personalities.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The opening paragraph was lovely - Edward VII's funeral procession.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I think the book has been filmed as a documentary, and I would love to see it.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish that I had read a print version of the book. In the audio version, it's easy to get lost in the troop movements. After a while, I gave up and just let the narrative wash over me rather than trying to keep track of which cavalry was here and which brigade was there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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