Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Guns of August/Tuchman

I'm not going to try to seem cool and say I didn't like the movie--I did--but I never got the fascination with the Titanic. As a tragic marker of the end of an era it never worked for me, possibly because I was too familiar with the names Ypres, Marne, Somme.

The first chapter of this book does. Called "A funeral", it is one of the most heartbreakingly lyrical pieces of historical writing I've ever experienced. The lists of royalty and leaders march in words like they had in the funeral procession of Edward VII in May of 1910.

The war never seemed so pointless or so inevitable than in those fourteen pages.

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