Books: The Trap of War

THE GUNS OF AUGUST (511 pp.)—Barbara W. Tuchman—Macmillan ($6.95).

World War I should have begun with kettledrums, trumpeted fanfares, and a giant curtain rising majestically across the boundaries of Europe. It was the innocent, hideous war that ushered in the modern age. The bloody pageant had been in rehearsal for years. Never before had so many nations so thoroughly plotted the destruction of their enemies. When the fighting finally began, in the long, hot summer of 1914, the great armies moved eagerly onstage to take up their long-assigned positions. In The Guns of August,...

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