‘The Guns of August’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 36/100

The Guns of August By Barbara Tuckman

Audibook Edition, narrated by John Lee

Finished on 4/11/2017


Genres: World War 1, History

World War 1 was a tragedy unlike any other. In this book Barbara Tuckman examines how the lead up to the war and the first month of the war caused the rest of the war to drag on.

Spoiler-tastic Review

This was a fantastic book, providing context to the situation the different generals were in and why they made their decisions. Covering everything from the battle of the Frontiers to the bombing of the Cloth Hall, Tuckman provides a detailed examination of a just a few months. Instead of spreading her effort over years, she focuses on months instead and provides an unparalleled examination of those months. Favoring detail over scope, Tuckman has created a wonderful history book.

Would I recommend this book to a complete WWI scholarship novice? No. Someone just starting to examine that most terrible of wars needs scope to understand what the Great War was. Only then can they move onto the why of the war. This is a why book. I am (at best) a journeyman WWI scholar, so I only got so much from my reading of this book. I think I would have gotten more out of it after I have read a few more books.

Stay sunny!


Audiobook notes: there are two different narrations of this book, and I listened to the one by John Lee. He did a fabulous job. I think his French accent for the French quotations was on the mark.

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