Customer Reviews for

The Guns of August

Average Rating 4
( 136 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(66)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Beginning of WWI Finally Explained

A traditional text book description of WWI would be summarized as follows: an assasination in Serbia lead German to declare war on Russia and France and German is defeated. If this explaination left you scratching your head through all your history classes then I highly...
A traditional text book description of WWI would be summarized as follows: an assasination in Serbia lead German to declare war on Russia and France and German is defeated. If this explaination left you scratching your head through all your history classes then I highly recommend this book for you. It provides an indepth explanation of the events which caused WWI (a side from the standard Alliance System and the assasination of the Arch Duke) and explains exactically why Germany invaded France and Declared war on Russia. A difficult but enlightening read sure to please most any military history buff.

posted by Santiano on August 12, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Somewhat tedious for a general reader, but still very interesting

This is a serious, scholarly book about the beginning of WWI. It is written as a "big picture" : a lot of high diplomacy, geopolitics and large scale army movements . Perfect for an armchair general, but somewhat difficult for rest of us - civilian schpaks. Nevertheles...
This is a serious, scholarly book about the beginning of WWI. It is written as a "big picture" : a lot of high diplomacy, geopolitics and large scale army movements . Perfect for an armchair general, but somewhat difficult for rest of us - civilian schpaks. Nevertheless, it gives a general reader like myself a very distinct "feel" of the time : including incredible misconceptions and mis-forecasts of all participants about the coming war , madness of kings and field-marshalls and common folks too, the devastation, and the feeling that the worst is yet to come. One criticism is lack of really comprehensive maps, the authors maps are realy schematic and the editors should consider additional ones to help the people reading the book 100 years after the events understand them better.
I grade the books as Buy and Keep (BK), Read Library book and Return ( RLR) and Once I Put it Down I Couldn't Pick it Up ( OIPD-ICPU). This one is BK if you are really interested in that time, and OIPD-ICPU if you are not.

posted by B-2 on May 25, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    World War One

    There have been so many tragedies in this war
    I heard that at least 80 soilders were killed in every
    second of fighting. People also thought that the war
    would only last four months... but it ended up lasting
    four long years of fighting. When ever I see a grave for a soilder from world war 1I say never again

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I was lost most of the time (review of audio book)

    (My review is of the audio book format.)


    Sorry to say this, but I was rather disappointed with The Guns of August audio book. The bottom line was that I just could not follow a lot of what was being said. I am not great with names, so half the time I did not even know which person was associated with which country. (In my defense, I do not speak German or French so many of the names are hard for my brain to remember.) I think the book would be easier to follow in print rather than audio format. I struggled to listen and got about half way through chapter 10 before I quit.


    My other problem with the book is that the author assumes you already know a great deal about the events leading up to 1914. I had to go to a WW1 website and do some basic homework before some of it started to make sense. She speaks about past events "matter-of-factly", and if you do not have a baseline understanding of Europe 1870 - 1914, then you are simply left behind. You need a basic understanding of European geography, because the author does not pause to explain any of this. She makes frequent references to towns and cardinal directions, which was completely lost on me. Perhaps I am just an ignorant American, but I doubt most of my peers could point out Bosnia, Belgium, Luxemburg, all the various straits and other European landmarks on an unmarked map. I spent more time looking stuff up online than listening to the book.


    Yes I did learn something, but not from the book. So, I give 5 stars to the WW1 website that I visited, and only 2 stars to this audio book. I imagine I would have a better time with the printed version; however I am rating the audio book here.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2011

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