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The Guns of August

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  40,587 Ratings  ·  1,762 Reviews
"More dramatic than fiction...THE GUNS OF AUGUST is a magnificent narrative--beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained....The product of painstaking and sophisticated research."
CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman has brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention t
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Paperback, 575 pages
Published 1962 by Macmillan
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Toeknee There is a podcast called Hardcore History, by Dan Carlin. He's an amateur historian and has a multi-part series called Blueprint for Armageddon about…moreThere is a podcast called Hardcore History, by Dan Carlin. He's an amateur historian and has a multi-part series called Blueprint for Armageddon about WWI. If you want to actually hear about the war itself, and can listen (say, while commuting, like I do), it's a great option. I'm guessing it's 10 hours or so. I'd also recommend All Quiet on the Western Front if you want a taste of the life of the soldier.(less)
Michael Benjamin No,it explains a lot - but definitely not Pakistan. Sorry.
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Kalliope
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition




On the night of the 13th of August 1961 the Government of East Germany began to build the Wall that divided Berlin isolating its Western part within the Communist Eastern block.

In 1962, Barbara Tuchman published her Guns of August and the following year it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

As many years separate Tuchman’s book from the events she discusses as years separate us from the time its publication: about half a century.

Those two lots of five decades each may explain two different reactions
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Matt
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-i
Let’s start with a couple items.

First, there is nothing left to be said about Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August.

Second, that is not going to stop me.

The Guns of August is not only the most famous book written about World War I, it is one of the most famous history books on any topic whatsoever. It won the Pulitzer, became a bestseller, was name-checked by politicians, and still provides a tidy sum to Tuchman’s heirs and designees. Even today, if you do a general search for “World War I” on
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Lilo
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who hasn't read it yet
“The Guns of August” is the first book I read about the Great War or, as I knew it, World War One. “The Guns of August” is also the first substantial information I obtained about this war.

I was born in Germany, in 1939. My family, then containing of my parents, my biological maternal grandmother, and my adoptive maternal grandmother (my biological grand-aunt), talked very little about WWI, probably because WWII was raging, food as well as all other supplies were scarce, and we were surrounded b
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Paul Bryant
Well, how d'you do, Private Willie McBride, First Class - do you mind if I sit down down here by your graveside? It's so nice to rest for awhile in the warm summer sun... I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done in. Well. So, Willie - I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen when you joined the glorious fallen. 1916 - a long time ago now. Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean. But Private Willie McBride, it could have been slow and obscene. Let's not think of that. And ...more
Diane
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an impressive work on the buildup to World War I and the first month of fighting. I wanted to read this book after a re-read of All Quiet on the Western Front, to better understand the war. I've heard The Guns of August described as one of the best books about WWI ever written, and while I haven't read enough to testify to that, I do think it was an interesting and insightful work, and I'd recommend it to history buffs.

I listened to The Guns of August on audio, and I enjoyed the narratio
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Trevor
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Trevor by: richard wood
Shelves: history
You could almost be excused for thinking that the highest praise one could give a work of non-fiction would be that it reads like a work of fiction. I haven’t looked at any of the other reviews for this book yet, but I would be prepared to bet that many of them say this read like a novel. And it is an incredibly dramatic story and some of the characters are larger than life – but this is no novel.

I say that because in a novel you expect at least some of the characters to develop during it – and
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Sue
After reading this book 100 years, sometimes to the day, after some of the events happened, it is difficult to know what to say. Others have written so many excellent reviews. I believe that I will focus on reaction for my review---reaction 100 years after the fact to the apparent ease with which the European world, and then much more, slid into an horrific spilling of blood, the ease with which several leaders gave orders which condemned millions of people to death; cities, towns, even small na ...more
Stephen
6.0 stars. WOW!! This book was AMAZING!! I have always been very interested in World War II and have read quite a few books on the subject. However, until reading THIS book I had never endeavored to learn anything more than the basics of World War I. With the reading of this incredible book, I have taken a tremendous step towards correcting that deficit.

Focusing on the first 30 days of World War I (hence the title), this beautifully written book addresses in great detail the causes for the conf
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Chrissie
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phew, this was a difficult book to digest in the audiobook format. Neither is it easy to digest in a paper book format. It is dense. It is detailed. Names and places and battles are thrown at you in rapid succession. You have to remember who is who, which corps is fighting where and its number, the title of each commander and more. You do not have time to stop and think and recall what was told to you minutes/pages or even hours/chapters before. You need more than a detailed map because you don’ ...more
Lobstergirl
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Rafalca
Shelves: own, european-history
This is an excellent but somewhat odd book; odd because the emphasis is so much more on the military than the political that you're left wondering why, how, precisely, this war was so inevitable. Granted, the political leaders are discussed in the first few chapters, the German Kaiser and the Russian Czar more so than the French and the British. But the stress is on the generals, and the war planners, on Schlieffen, whose plan had been prepared in 1905-06 and seemed to be restlessly waiting for ...more
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What is the best complete history of WWI? 2 11 Dec 03, 2017 07:20AM  
history 31 127 Aug 30, 2017 04:28AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Would someone please add this cover image? 4 126 Aug 20, 2016 04:33PM  
Around the Year i...: The Guns of August, by Barbara W. Tuchman 1 15 Jul 10, 2016 01:12PM  
NonFiction Pulitzers: The Guns of August: Buddy Read 2016 84 26 Jun 28, 2016 09:48PM  
Snippets That Ins...: Maybe My Favorite First Paragraph 1 5 Jan 09, 2016 06:51AM  
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Barbara Wertheim Tuchman was an American self-trained historian and author and double Pulitzer Prize winner. She became best known for The Guns of August (1962), a history of the prelude and first month of World War I.

As an author, Tuchman focused on producing popular history. Her clear, dramatic storytelling covered topics as diverse as the 14th century and World War I, and sold millions of copie
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More about Barbara W. Tuchman...
“So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens - four dowager and three regnant - and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history's clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.” 29 likes
“Nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general.” 24 likes
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