Brennan's Reviews > The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914

The Proud Tower by Barbara W. Tuchman
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's review
Jan 30, 2012

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Read in January, 2012

What Tuchman aims for here is achieved, though I don't know if that makes it good. This might be more accurate if it wasn't called a portrait but a collage. Characters and countries become more numerous and less defined as the book moves forward. There seems to be, culminating in the final chapter an attempt to cover everything which makes it hard to (at least it did for me) keep everything straight.

Given that these were people who had a real history, it might be the case that Tuchman thought better of wasting her time on delving into them. But without strong character development, even names seem superfluous. It gave me what I was after, which is an idea of what lead to WWI, but there might have been a better book to achieve that.

Also, whats up with the near-whole chapter on Strauss?

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