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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

4.1 (414 )
5 star
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4.2 (359 )
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4.1 (356 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Katherine New York, NY, United States 10-06-12
    Katherine New York, NY, United States 10-06-12 Member Since 2012
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    4
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    "History comes alive"
    What did you love best about The Guns of August?

    According to Robert K. Massie's excellent foreword, Barbara Tuchman described herself as a writer whose subject was history. Although she was certainly scholarly in her approach, and very well educated, she was not a professional historian. She was an outstanding writer, with the ability to make historical figures come alive on the page. Her work is very well served by John Lee's outstanding narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Foster Delahanty Virginia Beach, Va United States 10-03-12
    C. Foster Delahanty Virginia Beach, Va United States 10-03-12 Member Since 2012
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    53
    4
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    "GOOD"
    Where does The Guns of August rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    YES


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    EVEN


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    THIS REPRESENTS A RETELLING OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ERA IN RECENT HISTORY .... ALL ACTIONS RESOLVED FROM THE PREVIOUS CENTURY AND THE SETUP OF ALL ACTIONS IN THE FOLLOWING
    THE ACCENT OF MAN FROM SERF TO INDIDUAL, THE MECHANIZATION OF THE WORLD


    Any additional comments?

    A LOT OF PEOPLE TO TRY AND KEEP TRACK OF

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael L Krogh Eden Prairie, MN United States 09-03-12
    Michael L Krogh Eden Prairie, MN United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent Summary of the War's Beginning"

    The reader provides a bit more drama to the work than I'd prefer for a work of non-fiction, but overall a good performance. The content, especially the detailed descriptions of the errors, miscommunications, and the way egos confused the war's beginning, is excellent.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Cedar Rpids, IA, United States 08-06-12
    William Cedar Rpids, IA, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "too much information. Good for scholars."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I needed an abridged version.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Excellent research.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?

    Yes. Narrator was good


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Over analysis. It may have been good at the time it was written. But it needs a synopsis now. If the focus was on what happened after, it would have held my attention more.
    It was a clear illustration of the need for war to make changes that can't be made otherwise.
    The tradgedy of the human condition is that we have a limited view of the consequences of our actions while we are living them. W.C. Jacobson


    Any additional comments?

    Barbara Tuchman writes well. Her analysis was good. I knew the outcome, which made it tedious to plow through. wCJ

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert United States 07-30-12
    robert United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2010
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    "In a word.... YAWN!!!"
    What disappointed you about The Guns of August?

    This book was read like a junior high text book. It was painful to endure. I cannot believe this book was a best seller.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Boulder, CO, United States 06-21-12
    Andrew Boulder, CO, United States 06-21-12
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    "Brilliant history"

    You already know how good the writing is, so I'll just gripe about John Lee. None of his accents are particularly good, but the French ones are so thick it's hard to understand what he's saying. The German and Russian ones aren't as bad, and the British are nearly passable. That the few Americans all sound like cowboys is moderately annoying, but they are few and far between.

    The biggest problem I have is that while the plural of "corps" is spelled the same it is pronounced "cores", NOT "core" like the singular.

    Still a great book, get it anyway, Etc. Etc.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Rogers, Texas, United States 11-13-11
    Ronald Rogers, Texas, United States 11-13-11 Member Since 2011
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    "GREAT HISTORY"

    What can I say but GREAT HISTORY! I wrote a high school (B) and college (very low C) history paper on the start of WWI. I learned alot from Mrs. Tuchman book. One though I got from the book was that pride of Kings and Generals can cost many lives. I enjoyed the book. Thank you Mrs Tuchman and Mr. Lee.
    Andy Gulick

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Mount Martha, Australia 09-07-11
    Ann Mount Martha, Australia 09-07-11
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    "Recommended"

    six hours & 37 minutes well spent - tells a fascinating story of stupidity & valor

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher SPRING HILL, FL, United States 09-26-12
    Christopher SPRING HILL, FL, United States 09-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Maybe it works better as book"

    I've listened to a ton of history books and for whatever reason I have time following this one. I don't really like the style of writing as it comes off, for lack of a better word, as being kind of flowery. It seems like the scene is always being set while nothing is being said. This might be one of those books that works much better in print, it certainly happens. Also take a listen to the reader, I think she is doing a good job and she seems like a very good reader, however the tone of voice just seems out of her place for this subject matter. I normally have a strong opinion one way or another on history books, but I'm kind of just stuck in the middle on this one as the book did not hold my attention to the end, which is extremely rare for myself.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben New York, NY, United States 10-19-11
    Ben New York, NY, United States 10-19-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Mind-numbingly boring"

    I listened to this with high hopes, but found it mind-numbingly boring. Tuchman bogs down in details and doesn't ever really present a good overview.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
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