Michelle'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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Jul 13, 12

Read in July, 2012

A look at the years leading up to WWI -- the end of the Edwardian age, a great deal about the rise of Socialism, a look at high culture in Europe, the crazed arming and bellicosity of Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II, and a surprising effort for world peace by Czar Nicholas of Russia.

The book looks at the years purposefully without any hindsight from the WWI experience. Her thought was that no one knew WWI would do what it did to society, and a look at the era should reflect that. Interesting, but sometimes I wondered how these events effected the war. I guess I'll have to go back to Guns of August for that!

Lots and lots of names to deal with -- and certainly Euro-centric names, at least, so I didn't get TOO lost. I nice long read. Very doable on the Kindle, but no pictures. I found myself using the handy-dandy Kindle Internet interface to get to Wikipedia, though, when I needed a picture or more background. So that was fine.

I read it originally because I wanted to reread Guns of August, and I heard this book was kind of a prequel to it, and I love Tuchman (my favorite by her is A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century).
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