The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914

Version: Unabridged
Author: Barbara W. Tuchman
Narrator: Wanda McCaddon
Genres: History, Military
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: June 2012
# of Units: 18 CDs
Length: 16 hours, 39 minutes
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The fateful quarter century leading up to World War I was a time when the world of privilege still existed in Olympian luxury and the world of protest was "heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate." The age was the climax of a century of the most accelerated rate of change to that point in history, a cataclysmic shaping of destiny.

Barbara Tuchman brings to vivid life the people, places, and events that shaped the years leading up to the Great War: the Edwardian aristocracy; the anarchists of Europe and America; Germany and its self-depicted hero, Richard Strauss; Diaghilev's Russian Ballet and Stravinsky's music; the Dreyfus Affair; two peace conferences in the Hague; and, finally, the youth, ideals, enthusiasm, and tragedy of socialism, epitomized by the death of heroic Jean Jaurès on the night the war began and an epoch ended.

Reviews (3)

The Proud tower

Written by Anonymous from Dedham, MA on March 23rd, 2011

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Just to dry to keep interest. Well written, but not a good book to listen to and keep your interest. Better studied as a history book.

The Proud Tower

Written by wlh2040 from Miami, FL on May 11th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

What an excellent book! I listened to it twice through. This book was full of wit, history and social commentary. Being a keen student of history, one rarely is afforded the opportunity to see the personal side of it. This book offered frequent insight into the people of several social classes of all European countries, and truly offered a different perspective on the era. It was interesting to follow the evolution of anarchism as it influenced the development of fascism, communism, nazism and modern socialism. That was not the intetion of the author, but the data was all present. Very good book, and excellently well-narrated.

The Proud Tower

Written by Molly from Heppner, OR on October 7th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Very long. And tedious, though usually interesting as it spoke of true events and the people involved. Truly an act of endurance to complete the listen. (18 discs)

Author Details

Author Details

Tuchman, Barbara W.

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989), American historian, was born in New York City and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1933. A self-trained historian, she was a writer for the Nation and an editor for the US Office of War Information. In her later years she was a lecturer at Harvard and the US Naval War College. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1963 for The Guns of August and in 1972 for Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45. She was awarded the 1978 Gold Medal for History from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.