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