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The Guns of August | [Barbara W. Tuchman]

The Guns of August

Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.
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Publisher's Summary

Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman here brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and why it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

©1962 Barbara Tuchman, Renewed 1990 by Lester Tuchman (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Fascinating.... One of the finest works of history written.... A splendid and glittering performance." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (628 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Roy BOISE, ID, United States 08-10-11
    Roy BOISE, ID, United States 08-10-11

    Roy-in-Boise

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "History repeats itself?"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 06-26-15
    Dean 06-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A history epic in scale; a narrator up to the task"

    Barbara Tuchman's history of the first month of the First World War is a classic. John Lee does it justice with his very capable narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamison M Robers 04-02-15
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    "Would be difficult to follow ..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 02-23-15
    Matthew 02-23-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Guns of August"

    This is the 3rd version I've listen too, I enjoy it. I'm very fascinated with The Great War and this is apparently the book to have, I can't disagree

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Beaton 02-13-15
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    "Fine. not much better than that."
    Would you try another book from Barbara W. Tuchman and/or John Lee?

    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...


    Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?

    yes. but his using french accents... for everyone , russian , french etc is a bit weary ...


    Did The Guns of August inspire you to do anything?

    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


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 02-03-15
    Mike 02-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Love the book, disliked the narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cholmondeley Santa Barbara, CA United States 01-19-15
    Cholmondeley Santa Barbara, CA United States 01-19-15 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ian d mckinnon 01-13-15
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    "Great version of a classic!"

    Barbara Tuchman's amazing prose is packed with incredible drama, humor and urgency and John Lee is a master narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George R. McFall Albuquerque, NM United States 01-06-15
    George R. McFall Albuquerque, NM United States 01-06-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Fascinating book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Very interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady Pamela New Mexico 01-02-15
    Lady Pamela New Mexico 01-02-15

    And Buffalo George

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "History"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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