Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Guns of August

The lead-up to World War I was intense. Had the assassination of an archduke never occurred at that particular moment, I now still believe the same war would have broken out anyway. It was inevitable because of how the European powers, particularly Germany, were posturing. The Guns of August is a terrific book on this topic.

The writing style is terrific. Even though the reader kind of knows what's going to happen, the pages are filled with suspense regarding the micro-activities of various government leaders in the lead-up to the war.

Each of the early chapters is devoted to one country's point of view of the situation, how they reacted to the external and internal pressures, and what results their actions caused. I now have a much better understanding of why things happened the way they did.

The latter half of the book was not as interesting, as it delved into the minutiae of the tactics the various sides chose to pursue. There were too many "characters" and unknown geographies for me to properly understand. But someone else may appreciate these details.

I highly recommend at least the first half of the book for anyone who wants to learn more about the causes of World War I.

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