The Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I; Barbara... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$7.19
Qty:1
  • List Price: $7.99
  • Save: $0.80 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I Mass Market Paperback – August 3, 2004


See all 94 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$7.19
$4.40 $1.00
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$35.62


Frequently Bought Together

The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I + The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914 + The Zimmermann Telegram
Price for all three: $34.57

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345476093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345476098
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (700 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A brilliant piece of military history which proves up to the hilt the force of Winston Churchill’s statement that the first month of World War I was ‘a drama never surpassed.’”Newsweek
 
“More dramatic than fiction . . . a magnificent narrative—beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained.”Chicago Tribune
 
“A fine demonstration that with sufficient art rather specialized history can be raised to the level of literature.”The New York Times
 
“[The Guns of August] has a vitality that transcends its narrative virtues, which are considerable, and its feel for characterizations, which is excellent.”The Wall Street Journal

From the Publisher

To many people, W.W.I seems like ancient history. To me, it is the most fascinating of wars. It is when the modern world began, or, in Barbara Tuchman's opinion, when the 19th Century ended. My late Great Uncle Jimmy, a Brit, joined the Army at the age of 16 by lying that he was 18 after being encouraged to do so by a recruiter. Where did they send him? To Ireland, to train horses for the cavalry! This was the same war that saw the debut of the airplane, submarine, tank, poison gas, machine gun, flamethrower, and hand grenade!

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning history, Tuchman writes about the turning point of the year 1914--the month leading up to the war and the first month of the war. This was the last gasp of the Gilded Age, of Kings and Kaisers and Czars, of pointed or plumed hats, colored uniforms, and all the pomp and romance that went along with war. How quickly it all changed, and how horrible it became. Tuchman is masterful at portraying this abrupt change from 19th to 20th Century. And how she manages to make the story utterly suspenseful, when we already know the outcome, is the mark of a great writer, and a classic volume of history.

Doug Grad, Editor --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#31 in Books > History
#31 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

This book is a classic and a good read for anyone interested in history or WWI.
Christopher K
The Guns of August is a must read for those interested in World War I and modern European history.
Bryon Butler
Tuchman's writing style is concise, extremely well researched and very well written.
Janet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

373 of 389 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in 1962, this is a fascinating history of the beginnings of WW1 and is the result of a vast amount of research. It's all true, and all documented, and even though it's a dense read, the huge cast of characters springs to life. This is the story of a war that changed the course of history. And it's also a story of the men who make the war. The reader gets to see the blunders and the madness and the personal feuds. And the humanity of the imperfect human beings who make the decisions that result in slaughter.
There are maps in the book describing the battles. There are also photographs. But I must admit that I barely looked at the maps. And I found all the photos of the elderly generals very similar. What I did love though was the sweep of the story as well as the many details that go into waging a war. Previously, most war books I've read had to do with the experience of the soldiers. But this book is about the experience of making decisions, often based on folly. And it opened my eyes to how vulnerable the ordinary person is to the whims of the generals and the forces of pure chance. Ms. Tuchman also had a sense of irony and humor and sometimes I found myself laughing out loud.
The narrative of the month of August 1914 is described hour by hour. Belgium has to make a decision to accept an awful defeat or willingly allow the Germans to march through their neutral territory. There are alliances in place that are just waiting to be broken. The Russians come into the war. So do the British, even though it is with much reluctance. The basic war is between France and Germany, almost a continuation of the defeat the French suffered at the hands of the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.
Before I read this book, I didn't know much about WW1. Now I do.
Read more ›
12 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
170 of 181 people found the following review helpful By T. Parry on January 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
What Barbara Tuchman has done here is something precious few historians are able to do. With her stunning prose and fathomless knowledge, she brings to life that first fateful month of World War One. The historical figures she describes seem more like a collection of characters from an action novel. More than once I found myself saying "Did they really do that?" Ordinarily I can only read about 75 pages at a time before I start to lose interest and need a break. This book I began one morning and didn't put it down until I finished it. Tuchman kept my interest throughout and at times, though I knew the outcome, I found myself sitting at the edge of my chair wondering what would happen next. Even some of the best novels do not have this kind of power.
As for the book itself, it covers only the first month of the war. Though it does go into some depth of the war's origins, the main focus is on the movement and action of the armies from mobilization day until stalemate is reached. Tuchman's research is exhaustive, and this is the definitive work on that period. When the book was finished, I was disappointed only because she didn't continue. I wish I could give this more than five stars. If you have any interest in history whatsoever, regardless of your field, you must read this book, because this is what history should be!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By ReasonableGuy on April 28, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Guns of August may be the single most influential popular history of the origins of the First World War. It has convinced generations of readers that the war stemmed from a series of rivalries, which in turn lead to an uncontrollable escalation of events which ultimately results in an unintended conflict which sweeps up the most of the continent in a war that no one wanted. To the extent that President Kennedy is reported to have stated that this thesis influenced his thinking during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Guns of August takes on an additional level of historical importance which goes far beyond its merit as an interpretation of history. This book didn't just interpret history; it influenced history. It may have even helped to prevent a nuclear war. As such, it is an important book. This is why I've assigned it three stars; the book is historically important.

The great big screaming problem is, as a history, from the very day it was published, it's basic thesis of war by miscalculation was already untenable on the basis of available scholarship.

The root of the problem is that while Tuchman does provide a brief overview of the historical tensions that provide a background to the war, she spends all of ONE long paragraph discussing what actually transpired between the assassination on June 28 and the July 23 publication of Austro-Hungary's ultimatum to Serbia (i.e. the crossing of the threshold that establishes that a decision for war has been made and opens the door to the further expansion of the conflict). This is a STAGGERING omission.
Read more ›
12 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on January 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Barbara Tuchman (1912-89) captured the 1962 Pulitzer Prize with this gripping look at the opening stages of World War I. Tuchman begins by examining the pre-war politics, military plans, and inept diplomacy of major European nations. Once hostilities begin, she focuses heavily on Germany's attack through Belgium and Northern France - an offensive that just missed defeating France outright in 1914 and altering the course of history. The author exposes military stupidity, German atrocities in Belgium, and shows how this conflict opened as a murderous war of movement rather than as the entrenched stalemate that followed. I'd have liked fuller coverage on competing theaters of war, and wish that Tuchman hadn't stopped at the Battle of the Marne. Still, this is compelling history. Most importantly, the author shows how new technology and bungling politicians that failed to control their eager militarists plunged Europe into needless disaster. No wonder President Kennedy referred to this book during the Cuban missile crisis.
Tuchman was one of a few readable non-historians (William L. Shirer, John Toland) who outdid the stuffy academics. I particularly liked her coverage on Belgium's dilemma: either let the Germans march through, or fight them against overwhelming odds - you have 12 hours to decide. "The Guns of August" is gripping, tragic history at its finest.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?