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The Zimmermann Telegram Audiobook

The Zimmermann Telegram

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Publisher's Summary

In the dark winter of 1917, as World War I was deadlocked, Britain knew that Europe could be saved only if the United States joined the war. But President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States. Mexico would recover her lost American territories while keeping the U.S. occupied on her side of the Atlantic.

How Britain managed to inform America of Germany's plan without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible, true story of espionage, intrigue, and international politics, as only Barbara W. Tuchman could tell it.

©1958 Barbara W. Tuchman (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A true, lucid thriller…. Mrs. Tuchman makes the most of it with a creative writer’s sense of drama and a scholar’s obeisance to the evidence.” (New York Times)

“The tale has most of the ingredients of an Eric Ambler spy thriller.” (Saturday Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (544 )
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4.2 (442 )
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  •  
    David United States 08-23-16
    David United States 08-23-16 Member Since 2012
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    "A 'graphic novel' of an historical work. "

    This is only the second Tuckman book I have read and it confirms my estimation she was a readers digest level historian. This has been a surprise to me because her Guns of August had near mythical standing. And thus I was actually angered when I listened to that travesty. I had just finished A World Undone and gave it five stars. So decided to find out her take on the origins of WWI.

    IMHO she very seriously erred. Worse then that, I believe she must have willfully committed historical malpractice. Why or to what end is mystery. Accordingly, I recommend readers review the corresponding August part of the other book.

    I do recommend this book for people, who, like me have only a passing knowledge of pre WWI American history. German efforts to divert American attention to threats from a dreamed of Japanese/Latin American alliance were actually rather sinister and plausible.

    Further, the Allied Powers won the war on the Western Front before America ground forces piled on at the end. All of the several German offenses in the first half of the year failed spectacularly. The Germans were in full retreat when America forces were prematurely committed only days before the German withdrawal became apparent.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas J. Tague NH 05-09-16
    Thomas J. Tague NH 05-09-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Simply wonderful"

    This is another in depth treatise of history well done by Barbara Tuchman. I give this my highest recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ontario, CA USA 05-07-16
    Amazon Customer Ontario, CA USA 05-07-16 Member Since 2013
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    "It was easy to understand and follow with names a"

    it was easy to follow understand and gave a clear time line. The story made Wilson's change more realistic not just politics as usual.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Cromarty, United Kingdom 08-04-15
    Timothy Cromarty, United Kingdom 08-04-15
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    "Great story but not an easy listen"

    This history is packed with characters and twists and turns, being an ignorant geek I had never heard of this episode of history, the incompetence of the diplomats and the poor strategy of both the German military and the American president offset against the surprising competence and efficiency of the codebreakers in room 40.

    It is a hard listen as it needed to be read a little more slowly to allow the dense information in the story to be absorbed. Still worth the effort as it explained a lot to this ignoramus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Lawrence 07-07-15
    B Lawrence 07-07-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Tuchman does it again!"

    Ms Tuchman writes with insight and wit. She makes historical events and people come to life.
    I

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carroll Hilo, HI, United States 12-05-13
    Carroll Hilo, HI, United States 12-05-13
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    "Great narrative of this surprise event!!"

    Well done... good review of the events leading to and resulting from another intelligence coup. Strongly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wife of Doug Houston, TX 05-28-13
    Wife of Doug Houston, TX 05-28-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Enlightening Story"

    Not to give too much away, suffice it to say this story is probably going to expose some interesting facts about US and international history and politics surrounding WWI not often heard in the US history books.

    The book is pretty fast paced and there are many, many characters to follow and keep track of in this tale of espionage and intrigue. I had to stop and replay more than a few times when my attention strayed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Max Hollmann Florida 05-15-13
    W. Max Hollmann Florida 05-15-13 Listener Since 2008
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    "Horrible Narration"

    If you wanted to know every bit if minute of an event this is your book. Obviously, the telegram was important in bringing the U.S. into WWI. Somewhere that concept is lost in all of the needless detail. (Or I think it's lost; I couldn't finish the book having been down countless alleys and, after a while, not caring.) It's like someone assigned the author a set number of words and having to meet the quota just filled space (In acamedia it's called research, or trying to impress the teacher.) The story is so circuitous that it's hard following the people, the importance of events and where it's all leading. The narration is horrible! The lady reminds me of the English romance novels my wife listens to. Their diction is so perfect that after a while it sounds like cats fighting in a bag. The narration was so distracting that I found myself purposely tuning it out and missing the gist of the book. Finally, said "enough" and deleted it.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KTP Buffalo Gap, TX United States 04-23-13
    KTP Buffalo Gap, TX United States 04-23-13 Member Since 2016
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    "The Zimmerman Telegram"

    Interesting story. Especially the parts that involved taking over the SW again. Narrator did a wonderful job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 04-08-13
    David 04-08-13 Member Since 2013
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    "History for the Non-Historian"
    If you could sum up The Zimmermann Telegram in three words, what would they be?

    Concise, clear, and understandable.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As a work of non-fiction, there really aren't characters per se. However, Tuchman's ability to convey the individual habits and traits of the many, MANY historical figures she introduces us to is wonderful. I am a historian myself and I found her portrayals and insights into the various movers and shakers (as it were) of the Zimmerman Telegram incident and the whole run up to it to be quite useful and informative.


    What does Wanda McCaddon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She is able to convey the subtle wit, humor, and irony the author clearly intends in several passages. History is often dry--Tuchman's work is far from it and McCaddon's performance brings it even further to life.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    While it didn't make me laugh or cry, there were several times where I had a "whoa!" moment. I've studied this period and even taught it and this book revealed to me many things I had not known before.


    Any additional comments?

    For the lay fan of history, this is an excellent introduction to a period of World War I that most people overlook or simply gloss over. America's involvement in the war was strictly secondary, yet its potential involvement was HUGE for both sides. Tuchman portrays the myriad schemes, plots, and intrigues in a concise, clear manner that is both easily followed and complete. For the historian, she provides a wealth of detail so rarely discussed in other works. An excellent "read" for either group.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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