I read this book recently – its a classic account of the beginning of the First World War. Here’s my brief review:
The unbelievable and bizarre story of how the First World War began – how the best laid plans of both sides failed and ended up in the attritional warfare of the Western Front. What comes across most is the influence of the character of the leaders on events – the egotism of the Kaiser, the panic of Sir John French and the stoic calm of Joffre, who would stop for a leisurely lunch on the way to brief his generals, the very model of sangfroid – and would never admit his errors.
And also the official blurb about the book:
Historian & Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman has brought to life again the people & events that led up to WWI. With attention to fascinating detail, & an intense knowledge of her subject & its characters, she reveals just how the war started, why, & why it could have been stopped but wasn’t. A classic historical survey of a time & a people we all need to know more about, THE GUNS OF AUGUST will not be forgotten.
You can buy the book at the usual places including Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk