The Proud Tower
audiobook (Unabridged) ∣ A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914
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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.