Download The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World before the War, 1890–1914 Audiobook

The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World before the War, 1890–1914 Audiobook, by Barbara W. Tuchman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Barbara W. Tuchman Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781483075402
3.28285714285714 out of 53.28285714285714 out of 53.28285714285714 out of 53.28285714285714 out of 53.28285714285714 out of 5 3.28 (7 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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The fateful quarter century leading up to World War I was a time when the world of privilege still existed in Olympian luxury and the world of protest was “heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate.” The age was the climax of a century of the most accelerated rate of change to that point in history, a cataclysmic shaping of destiny.

Barbara Tuchman brings to vivid life the people, places, and events that shaped the years leading up to the Great War: 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; two peace conferences in the Hague; and, finally, the youth, ideals, enthusiasm, and tragedy of socialism, epitomized by the death of heroic Jean Jaurès on the night the war began and an epoch ended.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A rare combination of impeccable scholarship and literary polish…It would be impossible to read The Proud Tower without pleasure and admiration.”

    New York Times

  • “Mrs. Tuchman’s popularity is due to more than her skill with words…She never loses sight of individuals, and she is not afraid to tell a story…As in all her books, this one is resplendent with people.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An exquisitely written and thoroughly engrossing work…The author’s knowledge and skill are so impressive that they whet the appetite for more…An esthetically rewarding experience. No one should forgo the opportunity.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A stunning command of the storyteller’s arts of swift pacing, tense exposition, and colorful scene construction.”


  • “Mrs. Tuchman paints the scene for us with a masterly brush, a scene glittering and brilliant, sumptuous and outrageous.”

    Herald Tribune

  • “Blackstone’s inspired pairing of narrator [Wanda McCaddon] with the work of Barbara Tuchman introduces a new generation to the pleasures of one of the twentieth century’s most popular and esteemed historians.”


  •    Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An AudioFile Best Voice of 2009 for History: Wanda McCaddon

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 5/17/2011

    " Another fascinating history by Barbara Tuchman. This books discusses the political situation of the major powers in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. It basically sets the stage for "The Guns of August." Wish I had read it first. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 5/5/2011

    " I read this as research for my novel, My Phantom: The Memoir of Christine Daaé. A bit past the time of my novel but still very useful in understanding 19th century European society and, of course, Tuchman is ALWAYS topnotch. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Realteenreviews | 3/27/2011

    " For U.S. History 2. Worst read of my life. Review coming. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 1/23/2011

    " She really makes history come alive for this non-historian. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 8/2/2010

    " A terrific history of the last 30 years or so of the 19th century, a time I knew very little about. And the writing is spectacular, and consistently enervating even when the subject matter turns slow and complicated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan | 5/16/2010

    " Tuchman debunks a consensus in beliefs after WWI idealizing life before the war by reframing snapshots of conflicts in beliefs before WWI still afflicting life after the war: "A phenomenon of such extended malignance as the Great War does not come out of a Golden Age." "

About the Author

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912–1989), American historian, was born in New York City and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1933. A self-trained historian, she was a writer for the Nation and an editor for the US Office of War Information. In her later years she was a lecturer at Harvard and the US Naval War College. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1963 for The Guns of August and in 1972 for Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–45. She was awarded the 1978 Gold Medal for History from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.