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Extended Audio Sample The Zimmermann Telegram Audiobook, by Barbara W. Tuchman Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,018 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara W. Tuchman Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9781455195459
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In the dark winter of 1917, World War I was deadlocked. For Europe to be saved, the United States had to join the war—but President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States: Mexico would recover her lost American territories while keeping the US occupied on her side of the Atlantic. How Britain managed to inform America of Germany’s plan without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible true story of espionage, intrigue, and international politics as only Barbara W. Tuchman could tell it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A true, lucid thriller…A tremendous tale of hushed and unhushed uproars in the linked fields of war and diplomacy…Mrs. Tuchman makes the most of it with a creative writer’s sense of drama and a scholar’s obeisance to the evidence.”

    New York Times

  • “Has most of the ingredients of an Eric Ambler spy thriller.”

    Saturday Review

  • “This is well-crafted history that flows like a novel. Wanda McCaddon captures the storyteller tone of Tuchman’s prose. You could be sitting across the table drinking coffee and learning that, unlike what you learned in high school, the sinking of the Lusitania is not the only reason America joined the Great War. You’ll learn about President Wilson’s naïve adherence to neutrality despite the warnings of his advisors and about the Germans’ cynicism and arrogance as they try to manipulate events and countries to their advantage. You’ll find out that the British through ingenuity and planning were reading German codes they thought were unbreakable and about the balancing act the British had to play to protect their source while at the same time informing the Americans. Whether you’re a history buff or not, you can learn from The Zimmermann Telegram. It captures the people and events in an era when personalities and alliances were every bit as convoluted as they are now.”

    SoundCommentary.com

  • “Historian Barbara Tuchman tells of a secret telegram sent from the German foreign minister to the Mexican government in 1917. The message, which announced the beginning of unrestricted submarine warfare against Allied shipping, attempted to turn the sympathies of Mexico toward Germany with the promise of territorial rewards. The British decoded the message and leaked the contents to the US, hoping to provoke President Wilson to join WWI on the English side. Reading at a pace complementary to the author’s abundant flow of information, narrator Wanda McCaddon employs her award-winning talents to the fullest. She takes command of Tuchman’s prodigious vocabulary, making it sound comfortable and fluent. Her addition of appropriate foreign accents adds to the diplomatic intrigue.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 2/12/2014

    " Not her best writing. Makes the events before America enter WWII very clear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 1/31/2014

    " A good overview of the intregues associated with getting the US involved in a war with Mexico / Japan prior to US entry into WWI Well written, likely accurate "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 1/27/2014

    " SHOCKING history of how the USA entered WWI. Fascinating portrait of President Wilson and all his flaws, in spite of his intelligence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 aPriL MEOWS often with scratching | 1/13/2014

    " Unbelievably good writer of history, and it appears her research is impeccable. The arguments, as always, seem to be about her conclusions (per some of her peers when I googled her), which is true of all good historians. As a layperson, once assured of her credentials, all I need to do is read the book, learn something extraordinary about the history I thought I knew, and enjoy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 1/12/2014

    " Well written and enjoyable! Fills in some very important gaps with regard to WWI... fascinating especially when read after Tuchman's other book on WWI "The Guns of August." "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Vince | 1/6/2014

    " This was very detailed, and I thought it was written more for historians than for the average reader. This is how Tuchman earned her reputation, but she went on to write much more engaging books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barry Wiley | 12/29/2013

    " A classic story of world events being impacted by a single act in which the unintended consequences outweigh everything. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 12/28/2013

    " I'm low on info about WWI, so I was bound to learn a thing or two from Barbara Tuchman. Lots of intrigue surrounding the world players involved in the events leading up to America's entry into the war, despite Wilson's best efforts to keep us out. The Germans, in their clouded judgment, actually thought that the Brits wouldn't intercept their telegram, though it was sent across Allied cable lines to the German ambassador in America announcing their commencement of U-Boat warfare against the Allies. America couldn't, at that point, stay out any longer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 LDuchess | 12/2/2013

    " Fascinating part of history I didn't know. The beginning and end are exciting--the middle kind of dry. But very glad I read it....whole new view of Wilson! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed | 11/6/2013

    " My favorite line: "one of history's biggest boners...". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Faakhegulo | 10/19/2013

    " first i knew what people should did "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 10/2/2013

    " You really don't know much about history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 9/3/2013

    " A little confusing at first, but picked up speed. Very interesting history on WW1 where the Germans sought to entangle the US in a war with Japan and Mexico, to keep us out of Europe. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 3/16/2013

    " This book, and other books by Barbara Tuchaman tell how easily things could have been different. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ted | 1/6/2013

    " I was disappointed by the lack of "characters" in the book. The players did not come to life. But it is still a readable account of an interesting story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 12/27/2012

    " Babs Tuchman is so, so awesome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martin | 10/15/2012

    " So exquisitely written, so informative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 9/1/2012

    " Wow; a whole part of history that I didn't know existed. I don't think that I've ever heard of the Zimmermann Telegram before. Now I know better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin Stannard | 6/4/2012

    " A riveting account of the events that finally dragged Woodrow Wilson and the U.S.A. into the First World War. Espionage, World Politics and History - a great read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 10/14/2011

    " Fortunately for the author, she had an interesting topic to cover. Unfortunately, she's not an interesting writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ty | 10/2/2011

    " Not The Guns of August, but Tuchman sure can make history fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony | 8/28/2011

    " A shorter book on Blinker Hall's masterstroke. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 7/26/2011

    " Who knew? Some of the WW I and WW II spy tricks amaze me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 12/28/2010

    " Read this book in 2003. Anything that Tuchman writes is going to be good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 10/28/2010

    " A riveting account of the events that finally dragged Woodrow Wilson and the U.S.A. into the First World War. Espionage, World Politics and History - a great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 7/24/2010

    " I love this book about the fateful telegram that brought the U.S. into World War I. Wonderful piece of history and a wonderful portrait of the times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simone | 5/29/2010

    " Utterly compelling, like all of Tuchman's books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margali | 5/28/2010

    " Amazing account of one of the small things on which the fate of nations can turn. I love her dry sense of humor -- I enjoy reading history that also makes me snort with laughter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacquie | 4/27/2010

    " I know practically nothing about WWI, so this was a very educational book. I had no idea Mexico played such a role in the US's entry into the war. Lots of names and dates which I usually don't like, but even so, I found it very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 4/12/2010

    " I listened to this on the way home from UT; it was narrated by Wanda McCaddon. I don't know that much about WWI, and this looked interesting. It didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the narration and learned some interesting facts about The Great War. I look forward to reading more on the subject. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 2/21/2010

    " SHOCKING history of how the USA entered WWI. Fascinating portrait of President Wilson and all his flaws, in spite of his intelligence. "

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About the Author
Author Barbara W. Tuchman

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912–1989), American historian, was born in New York City and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1933. 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.

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.