Alicia's Reviews > The Guns of August

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
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Mar 02, 2012

it was amazing
Read in March, 2012

This military history book reads like a novel. This is not a criticism of the author's skill. On the contrary. The Guns of August is masterfully written. Tuchman makes battle plannng and troop movements...exciting? It's just that the primary actors...vainglorius monarchs, ineffectual government ministers, gung-ho yet impotent generals and supercilious field marshalls...are so unexpectedly fascinating in their nearly successful efforts to destroy the world.

And while not the book's primary topic, the reader gets a glimpse at the origin of German militarism. International diplomacy has matured in the years since the world wars, but this book reminds the reader of how a cavalier approach to war has to be avoided. Goodness, gracious...this lesson has been around for the teaching for more than 50 years. The only conclusion I can come up with for why we went to war in Iraq is that U.S. leaders disregarded the lessons of history in favor of the pursuit of nimbuses for the advocates. Let this be a lesson to us all...be careful who you vote for because it's important.
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