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"The Guns of August" by Barbara W. Tuchman

The Guns of August - Barbara W. Tuchman, Robert K. Massie

A very detailed, but nonetheless accessible, account of the first month of World War 1 that focuses on the military history of the main combatants. I was glad that I already had a reasonable understanding of the political situation that led to the outbreak of war as this is not the focus of the book, and I wonder how readers without this knowledge get on with the book. The book's emphasis is on the military: Generals and planners etc. The extent to which you might enjoy this book will probably depend on your interest in the subject. I found the level of detail too much and I realise a more general history of the causes and run-up to the war would have been more appropriate for my needs.

Barbara W. Tuchman has created a readable account, and it's no surprise that it was a best seller when it was first published in 1962, in addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.