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The Proud Tower - Barbara W. Tuchman

The Proud Tower

By Barbara W. Tuchman

  • Release Date: 1982-12-01
  • Genre: History
Score: 4.5
From 76 Ratings


The classic account of the lead-up to World War I, told with “a rare combination of impeccable scholarship and literary polish” (The New York Times)—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Guns of August

During the fateful quarter century leading up to World War I, the climax of a century of rapid, unprecedented change, a privileged few enjoyed Olympian luxury as the underclass was “heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate.” In The Proud Tower, Barbara W. Tuchman brings the era to vivid life: the decline of 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; the Peace Conferences in The Hague; and the enthusiasm and tragedy of Socialism, epitomized by the assassination of Jean Jaurès on the night the Great War began and an epoch came to a close.
The Proud Tower, The Guns of August, and The Zimmermann Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic histories of the First World War era.


  • The Progressive March to War

    By Laurence Matson
    Barbara Tuchman is one to the greatest writers in the English language. Full stop! She has eludicated history is a series of books in a way that we can learn and - hopefully - become wiser. When I taught history, the course reading always including at least one of her books. And, at times, I only used her work for the required reading. No one should go through life without learning from her, and The Proud Tower is an amazing example. Using events as stepping stones, she takes the reader from the first of three European wars, which ended with World War II. Through this, we learn the history is life marching towards a future, which we may control and steer if we act wisely.
  • Another gem from Tuchman

    By Cheunga22
    Another brilliant gem from Tuchman. I would rate it on the same level as Guns of August. Brilliantly paints a picture of pre World War I Europe but has a much broader scope than Guns or Stillwell.