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Customer Review

59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb history of the first month of the 1st World War., October 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Guns of August (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books) (Paperback)
Although we think of the First World War in terms of the stalemate and carnage of the trenches, for the first few weeks of combat, it was a war of movement. The battlelines shifted daily and the British and French came closer to disaster than I realized before I read this book. It's a gripping story, which Tuchman tells superbly. The political and military leaders come alive, the maps are clear, and even though you know how the story ends, you can't put the book down. Tuchman is also a reliable: I didn't find any factual errors. My complaints are minor. I agree with the previous writer who thought that the book ended too early: the war of movement in the west really ended with the French counterattack on the Marne, which is not discussed in the same detail as the campaign that led to it. Also, while Tuchman, presumably legitimately, dismisses the story of the angels of Mons as a legend, she should have told us what the legend was. Overall, however, I thought that the book was great, and I strongly recommend it even to those readers who think they know the story after reading such popular histories of the First World War as those by John Keegan or Martin Gilbert. You'll be surprised how you learn.
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