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The Guns of August Audiobook
The Guns of August
Written by: 
Barbara W. Tuchman
Narrated by: 
Nadia May
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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

4.0 (1904 )
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  •  
    Luke Long Beach, CA, United States 04-22-15
    Luke Long Beach, CA, United States 04-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Difficult book to listen to"

    This book is probably a great read, but it very difficult to get much out of it by listening to it - at least it was for me.

    The only reason I wasn't entirely lost with the multitudes of names, locations and events is I know the history relatively well. Regardless I continually found myself lost and daydreaming.

    I'd definitely recommend reading this book, but listening to it is tough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 04-13-15
    Sarah 04-13-15
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    138
    7
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    "Hard to follow via audio"

    This is a great account of August 1914! I was not familiar all the various French and Belgium city names, generals on both sides or the politicians so I found some parts too hard to follow via audio. I feel it would have been more interesting to follow the advancement of troops and outcome of battles with a map handy and a list of Generals for each side. I had to give up trying to understand some of the troop movements and where the fighting was. It just washed over me and I left the vague understanding which side it benefited. The narrator was fabulous and great to listen to but I would highly recommend getting a map!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 04-13-15
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 04-13-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Essential to understanding the start of WWI"

    This book has been on my "to read" list for many years and I wish I would have read it earlier. It is an essential work to understanding WWI, and in particular the opening moves by all belligerents that led to the following 4 years of bloodshed.

    Even more important, however, is how the book illustrates the massive egos and ambitions of the elites in society that ultimately led millions to their ultimate demise. For this alone, the book is a "must read", so that we may go into the future better armed with the knowledge of the potential weaknesses of the ruling classes.

    The author did a fantastic job of piecing together the myriad facets of the start of WWI. She did so in a well paced and interesting manner. This is something that not many could have done with such apparent ease. The narrator, did a superb job in reading the story, but i felt she could have picked up the pace slightly so as to work through the massive story more quickly. This, however, is minor criticism.

    I can highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in WWI or an interest in how the nature of the ruling elites can lead to disaster.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Palmer 04-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved it"

    Very well done book. I enjoyed hearing the details of how the German army planned so meticulously how they would attack France. The best laid plans can fail. Good read. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Green_Giant 03-31-15
    Green_Giant 03-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Very dry content"

    I listened to this with expectations for it to be similar to "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". But with such a narrow scope (literally only the month of August 1914) the story is bogged down in more details than what I was looking for as a casual listening experience. That being said, the narrator does an excellent job of speaking in accents from the parties at play, which is especially helpful as there are so many names to keep track of.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 03-09-15
    Adam 03-09-15
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    "A superb introduction to the First World War"

    An outstanding book read by a superb narrator. It kept me engaged from the start to finish. Can't recommend highly enough

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle 03-06-15
    Kyle 03-06-15
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    "Enjoyed"

    The reading was very spirited and I enjoyed the book. I would highly recommend this book to any history buff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Zajaros Lakewood, Ohio 02-18-15
    John Zajaros Lakewood, Ohio 02-18-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent In Every Sense!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip O. Zavertnik 12-29-14

    Who's Next

    ratings
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    12
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    "A Classic - for understanding WWI"
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alistair Templeton 12-22-14 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    "better if familiar with the events and people"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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