Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

Tuchman's classic nonfiction account of the first month of World War I has been as compelling as reading a novel. Truly one of the finest history books I have ever had the pleasure of reading - I can't believe I waited so long! WWI has rather become the "forgotten war," as WWII grabs all the glamor and most of the movies, but Tuchman makes clear the tragic circumstances (and in many cases sheer human pigheaded stupidity) that led up to the "Great War" -- the first "industrial-strength" war, where machine guns finally came into their own (mowing down glorious cavalry charges), where aerial bombardment of civilian populations first began, and where many other sad hallmarks of "modern" warfare got their start. The "War to End All Wars" was not, of course - and in fact led directly to WWII. But that's another book and many other stories. Tuchman's book covers just one month -- fateful August 1914 -- in colorful detail and with one of the most fascinating casts of characters you're ever likely to meet. And all of it, alas, was very, very real.

Leatherby Libraries Call Number: D 530.T8 1962, 2nd Floor Humanities
Review submitted by Mary Platt , Public Relations
Rating: Highly Recommended

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