The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914 (2020)

The Proud Tower A Portrait of the World Before the War 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
  • Title: The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914
  • Author: Barbara W. Tuchman
  • ISBN: 9780553256024
  • Page: 403
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914
    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 AmericDuring 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 Jaur s on the night the Great War began and an epoch came to a close.
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      Published :2020-03-14T08:30:09+00:00

    One Reply to “The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914”

    1. How do you follow up a major success in life It s a question I seldom ask myself My last success was finishing the final two episodes of both The Night Of and Stranger Things in a single night, while drinking a 9 handle of rum and avoiding the sidelong glances of my pregnant wife, who is due any day That s the kind of success you only follow up with divorce Barbara Tuchman certainly had to answer that query In 1962, she published The Guns of August, one of the most widely acclaimed works of hist [...]

    2. While from a proud tower in the townDeath looks gigantically downThe City in the Sea Poe.This book is really a collection of essays published separately in various journals Any book tackling the social, political and artistic situation of the world in the couple of decades before it entered its first global war, could only offer a partial view These essays offer a series of selected aspects of this bellicose universe seen through shifting points of view.There are considerable absences For exampl [...]

    3. The Proud Tower Barbara Tuchman s View of the World on the Road to WarChannel FiringBY THOMAS HARDYThat night your great guns, unawares,Shook all our coffins as we lay,And broke the chancel window squares,We thought it was the Judgment dayAnd sat upright While drearisomeArose the howl of wakened hounds The mouse let fall the altar crumb,The worms drew back into the mounds,The glebe cow drooled Till God called, No It s gunnery practice out at seaJust as before you went below The world is as it us [...]

    4. Engaging history of white people from late 19th century to WWI Written by American journalist living in U.K and published in 1966, book purports to be A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890 1914 which it ain t by a damn sight and works as a pretty good oil painting of the U.K France, Germany, and the U.S with smatterings of Russia, Spain and Italy thrown in for spice before they all started killing each other with gas and machine guns Author shows us the political, social, and artistic zei [...]

    5. It is a thankless job to write a book about the origins of a widespread conflagration such as the First World War Where is one to draw the line Where author Barbara Tuchman apparently drew it was the countries of Western Europe Britain, France, and Germany plus the United States But what about the view from St Petersburg or Vienna or even Istanbul It is all well and good to talk about the rise of international socialism, but what about all the energies released by the decay of the Ottoman Empire [...]

    6. I simply love Tuchman s writing style, which tells stories around various figures and themes relevant to understanding the origins of the First World War Except in her introduction and final scene on the verge of mobilization of armies she avoids explicit reference to the war because of the power of the lens of hindsight to distort the accuracy of historical truth She leaves it to other accounts, including her earlier book, The Guns of August , to elucidate the political evolution leading to the [...]

    7. We humans like to think that there are single moments in our lives and in history around which the rest of history pivots The point of these pivots is that they explain not only what comes after, but and not unlike my new reading glasses also snaps into focus all that went before Suddenly the world makes sense Strangely enough I don t think this was the experience the world had with the First World War although it probably ought to have been The war was so terrible in the sense of striking terro [...]

    8. Barbara Tuchman is a widely respected historian, and I have always assumed I d get around to reading all her books some day I read two of her books in my pre days I had not previously read The Proud Tower probably because the era prior to World War I is of limited interest to me Things changed recently when Ken Follett came out with his book, Fall of Giants, and a book group I belong to decided to read, Edith Wharton s book The Age of Innocence These are both fictional stories set in the late 19 [...]

    9. This is another outstanding book by Barbara Tuchman It paints a vivid and fascinating picture of the world in the period before World War 1 I think she manages to avoid the obvious danger of seeing everything through the lens created by our modern perspective, knowing, as we do now, that the War was coming and that it would change everything about the world forever The descriptions of society in Britain, the US, and in particular France I found the in depth explanation of the Dreyfus affair to b [...]

    10. In The Proud Tower, historian extraordinaire Barbara Tuchman takes on the 25 years leading up to World War I Focusing on events in England, France, Germany, the U.S and to a lesser extent the rest of the West from 1890 1914, Tuchman presents eight essays that, taken together, provide a revealing look at the Gilded Age The Patricians England 1895 1902The first of two essays focusing on England, The Patricians presents the world of the top 1% in all of its shameless, decadent, nineteenth century g [...]

    11. THE PROUD TOWER 1966 Barbara W Tuchman In this highly researched and very readable book, the author examines what was going on in several countries just prior to WW I Although she claims that other countries could have been picked, she decided on the final grouping using no real set of criteria other than interest to the general reader This book is an attempt to discover the quality of the world from which the Great War cameI have tried to concentrate on society rather than the state In her fir [...]

    12. This book consists of eight sections, or as the title suggests portraits They are uneven in scope and not that inter connected.One of the strongest ones is on the Dreyfus affair in France and it is full of passion as one would expect Ms Tuchman gives a stupendous view of the colliding forces at work There is also one chapter on the Anarchist movement with an intriguing analysis of these rather eccentric and misguided people The last chapter is on International Communism with a good exposition of [...]

    13. I m hesitating between a simple recommendation This was tremendous Go forth and read ye likewise, and a voluminous splatter of opinions and unhelpful comments.No, actually, I m not hesitating The choice is simple.Tuchman s object is to reveal the last decade or two of the Christendom, its pillars and its dynamiters She covers the magnificent aristocracy of England in the first chapter In their contempt of ideology the House of Lords were very Burkean, and incidentally reminded me a great deal o [...]

    14. I had looked forward to reading this for quite some time, but now that I have finally gotten around to it, I m feeling the effect of my high expectations Tuchman seems best, to me, when she s describing an event, as in The Zimmermann Telegram and although the individual chapters of The Proud Tower occasionally had the same kind of narrative thrust, overall, the portrait style that she uses here does not seem to maximize her talent as an author.The fact is, there is no single story to tell when c [...]

    15. 1850 is my favorite year What You don t have a favorite year Sure you do It is the one you picked during the late night drunken college game of What If You Could Go Back in Time Where and When Would You Go I could waver a little on my date 1849 or 1851 would be all right And I d have to land somewhere in Europe Wagner, Beethoven, Brahms, Berlioz, Balzac, Hardy, Flaubert, Monet, Manet, et al where clustered either at the beginning or the end of their lives and the great Romantic Age crashed into [...]

    16. Back in high school not for high school, just during , I read A Distant Mirror and was very impressed So when I saw this on the shelf at the library, I snagged it.This is odd book On the paragraph level, the writing is first rate The scholarship is excellent But the overall book is rather disjointed There s no overarching thesis or storyline, so it ends up just being here are some things that were important that happened in some countries that were important in this time span Each chapter deals [...]

    17. I ve been punching out the four stars lately, but in justification, if the book is a two I usually just let it gather some dust Even the threes take longer to finish and then I usually find some excuse to delay the write up Fours I can consume like potato chips Munch munch munch Supposedly reading is good for you, but after three hundred books this year, non fiction even, I know even less and less Tuchman is famous for guns of august which probably established the concept of the popular history [...]

    18. Barbara Tuchman is a very good writer of history It s one of those situations in which you thank the Lord, or somebody, that this particular person decided to go ahead in this particular direction I don t know if just anyone will enjoy The Proud Tower, since it deals with a very precise period in history, the Victorian Age in Britain, or the time leading up to the First World War However, for me Tuchman s book, while not actually revelatory her book on the origins of W W I The Guns of August def [...]

    19. Ever wary of the Edwardians, I knew that Barbara Tuchman could enliven this dreary industrial period And my, did she ever The story of English nobility, mad anarchists, high minded Socialists and the throbbing heart of impending war all become glaring signs of the world s most pointless and catastrophic olympiad One can see the origins of German nationalism, the symptoms of French self importance by way of the Dreyfus Affair , and the transformation of America from a philosophical experiment int [...]

    20. Tuchman is rightfully famous as a historian, but I found this book disappointing It s a sound scholarly look at the period 1890 1914, focusing on the social movements within the powerful European nations the United States that, according to Tuchman, set the stage for the outbreak of WWI Unfortuantely, Tuchman doesn t obviously tie her thesis presented in the introduction to the rest of the book, and thus her admirable work on issues such as international Socialism, the Dreyfus Affair, and the tr [...]

    21. Tuchman, as usual, is incisive and sharp in the best sense of these words The book was not quite as fascinating to me as Guns of August has been, but then, that is really not much of a criticism, as Guns of August is a book one produces once a lifetime.This book surveys the portrait of Europe and America before the First World War it presents chapters on England, the Socialists, the Anarchists, a chapter on the Dreyfus affair, and another on German music and culture It presents a world both very [...]

    22. It amazes me that every time I read one of Tuchman s books I realize how utterly ignorant I am oh history And I got strait As in history in school and watch history documentaries for fun How it seems that most of these documentaries seem to only focus on wars and school history books don t teach one must of anything After reading Tuchman s books I realize that school history books are made to go through the motions of teaching, without upsetting carefully contrived political believes that are ea [...]

    23. The Proud Tower is a series of loosely connected summaries of key political, economic and cultural movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries Tuchman s writing style is enjoyable and stimulating Her talent for selecting a compelling character Thomas Reed, Arthur Balfour and others on whom to center her narrative of surrounding events is effective and in a similar vein to her award winning efforts with General Stillwell in China She deftly jumps from the world of English aristocrats to t [...]

    24. Tuchman knew her stuff, but this was fairly dry and thus a bit uneven I found the chapters concerning the Dreyfus affair in France and Strauss and Germany much interesting than the others although the anarchist one was fairly interesting as well Some of that is my problem parliamentary congressional politics don t interest me as much as social history or autocratic rulers.

    25. I finished this book mostly out of moral obligation You get to read about the anarchists, socialists, and upper 1% right before WWI The Dreyfus affair was kind of interesting It was like each, very long, chapter was a book in itself I was hoping to get insight into Eastern Europe e.g the Austrian Empire and Bohemia and Poland , but there was nothing there.

    26. This was the first book I ever read about Europe just prior to the first world war Tuchman s accessible style and choice of topics representative of the period inspired the reading of her book about the onset of the war itself, The Guns of August, immediately thereafter.Decades later, in 1990, I reread the thing.

    27. This book just wasn t very interesting unfortunately I had thought that that it would be a little closely connected to the events that eventually led up to the First World War The section on anarchists was interesting and so was the part about the Dreyfus Affair and the first peace demilitarization conferences but most of the rest just bored me to tears.

    28. Dense but fascinating look at the political climate in Europe and to a lesser extent America on the eve of the Great War Works as an excellent companion to A.S Byatt s The Children s Book or Downtown Abbey.

    29. Europeans and some Americans who were alive as the 19th century came to a close were aware that they were living in a unique time The French even coined a term for it, fin de si cle In her foreword, Tuchman notes that fin de si cle often connotes decadence, but she explains that western society was not decaying so much as it was bursting with new tensions and accumulated energies as the 19th century closed and the 20th century began THE PROUD TOWER is Tuchman s account of these new tensions and [...]

    30. This is a book that I read many years ago, liked enough to keep and have now had time to re read.Though we think of our own time as one of great change, there was a feeling in the air at the end of the 19th century that will never again be experienced It was a combination of innocence, wonder and anxiety produced by capitalism as technology and industry recreated the world.The innocence came from a still powerful religious sense along with a strong idea of how things should be But the lives peop [...]

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