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The Guns of August | [Barbara W. Tuchman]

The Guns of August

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.
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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

3.9 (1301 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ivory 01-07-12
    Ivory 01-07-12
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    Story
    "Boring narration"
    What did you like best about The Guns of August? What did you like least?

    Why are all the accurate (negative) reviews of this reading listed last? I could not suffer through even 1/3 of the material. Can I have my money back?


    Would you recommend The Guns of August to your friends? Why or why not?

    I recommend the written book, not this audio version.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Nadia May’s performances?

    No!


    Do you think The Guns of August needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Couldn't make it through this reading.


    Any additional comments?

    I was looking forward to learning more about WWI, but I was disappointed with this work. On the other hand, I highly recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 11-27-11
    Rebecca 11-27-11 Member Since 2009

    Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't work for me"

    August 1914 in WWI - Won Pulitzer for non-fiction. Book concentrates on the opening of WWI and what lead up to it. It covers mistakes that were made by all sides that lead to the war lasting so long, the beginning of trench war fare, and what from the beginning may have resulted in a subsequent war in the 1940s.

    I had a hard time with the narration of this book - this was the first non-fiction I've listened to with Nadia May as narrator (Anna Karenina and Middlemarch, and it just didn't work for me). I was surprised as I've really enjoyed Nadia May before. Also, I've listened to quite a bit of non-fiction audiobooks, and this is the first that didn't work for me.

    I'm sure if I read the book, it would get an 4 or so, but I'm giving a 3 because I was never engaged as I would wish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Homebound Charlotte, NC, United States 10-29-11
    Homebound Charlotte, NC, United States 10-29-11 Member Since 2011
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    "mind-numbing but fascinating"

    A great piiece of historical research. A;though mind-numbing in minute detail, it is a clear demonstration fhat war is as much about the individuals who lust after power and their petty jealousies that it is about national issues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rollin Cholula, Mexico 09-29-11
    Rollin Cholula, Mexico 09-29-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Classical work wonderfully narrated"

    Barbara Tuchman's great study of the first month of World War I is still timely after 40 years of its first publication. It is mostly political and military history, perspectives that contemporary historians frown upon. But there's no denying that the military and political decisions made by all sides between the 4th of August and the 15th of September 1914 changed the world. Nadia May, as always, does a magnificent job of narrating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Paul Castrillo Colorado Springs, CO, United States 08-16-11
    Michael Paul Castrillo Colorado Springs, CO, United States 08-16-11
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    "Excellent"

    This book is about the first months of the war and a description of the challenges faced by both sides in those early days. I would place the book half way between a text-book and a novel. If you read a lot of history books, this is one of the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 06-26-11
    Anonymous 06-26-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really good"

    I really enjoyed this book, but I think it is important to note that Tuchman focuses only on the outbreak of WWI...so do not expect a comprehensive history of the war. Nevertheless, she does a wonderful job painting the pictures of the characters and the detail of the war planning and execution is outstanding. Her detail can be a little much at times, but it is worth it overall. I would recommend this for anyone who wants a deep look at the outbreak of the war and the planning that lead to it. The narration is really good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas 06-02-11
    Douglas 06-02-11
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    4
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    "One of the Best Books on the First World War"

    It is no wonder that Barbara Tuchman won the Pulitzer prize for this excellent book, which clearly describes the factors contributing to the outbreak of the First World War, and charts the early days of the war. It is hard for us to imagine today the toll the Great War took on a whole generation of young men and the absolute futility of the endeavor. The presentation by Nadia May is of such quality and commitment that it is easy to believe that it may actually be Barbara Tuchman herself speaking to us. All in all, a highly recommended, entertaining and very educational presentation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    colin Tully, Australia 04-13-11
    colin Tully, Australia 04-13-11 Member Since 2008
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    "brilliant"

    The tangled web that is the origin of WW1 is brilliantly unravelled in this book. I have explored this topic over many years and volumes and have never found a clearer explanation of how the world slipped, inexorably, into the maelstrom.
    Tuchman's style is, as always, lucid and to the point and the narrator carries the story in her own inimmitable way.
    An all round good experience and highly recommnded to anyone wanting to understand how otherwise intelligent men got the world into such a mess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David FORT COLLINS, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 09-14-10
    David FORT COLLINS, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 09-14-10
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    3
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    "Wonderful"

    Great book to read to gain greater insight to the origins of the Great War. Great discussion of the personalities that made the period (though comprehension maybe a little tricky if one has little knowledge of the War to begin with). Well worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Mark Bethesda, MD, United States 08-22-10
    Mark Bethesda, MD, United States 08-22-10 Member Since 2007
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    18
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    "Excellent narration"

    The narration is delightful, a pleasure to listen to. I found the book to be very interesting if perhaps little one-sided and a bit dated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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