Ross'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
Jun 21, 2011

liked it

This work is certainly just as well researched and written as "The Guns of August" but I can only give it 3 stars because the history of the period is simply not that interesting to me. In fact I was basicaly totaly ignorant of the period probably because I never saw any reason to read about the period. No great events, etc.
I was interested to learn much more about the Dreyfus affair, but it is very sad of course. I was horrified to learn that both major party candidates ran for president in 1896 on imperialist platforms, aping the behavior of the European powers in Africa. Our designs were on the Pacific.
Tuchman details how Britain and it's empire was ruled by 200 families who considered it their God given right. It occurred to me that almost every individual born in England with some brains and backbone must have emigrated to America in order for such a state of affairs to exist.
Lastly, she gives a good account of the Anarchist and Socialist movements of the period who were out to save the world. What a pack of morons.

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Clif Ross, I understand your view. But I came at the book with great interest because my father was born in 1898 and was a socialist and very much anti-war, though not once did he explain his views, or even mention them to me. I was too young and self-absorbed to be interested before he died when I was 21. This book gave me a wealth of material to consider and insight into the nature of the man.

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