The Guns of August


Day course

Mike Shaw

24 August 2023

9:00 am to 4:00 pm


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The Guns of August written by Barbara Tuchmann was published in 1962 and read by President Jack Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs fiasco for which he accepted responsibility.  The book recounts the heightening of international tension leading up to the spontaneous declarations of war in 1914. This will be the main theme of the course.

Kennedy insisted that every member of his inner cabinet read the book so as to ensure that future military preparations did not override diplomacy in governing the relations between states. The lessons learnt were put into practice in the Cuban missile crisis and still have relevance today.

Ideal for anyone interested in International Affairs and the current situation in Ukraine.

All-comers welcome.

Tutor information

Mike Shaw was a regular soldier for over 30 years and has been a keen student of history all his life.  A longstanding contributor to the Dillington programme and an erstwhile ocean yachtsman, he has an interest in early navigational techniques and how trading links developed across the world’s oceans in the Age of Sail leading to the development of the mercantile empires. More importantly however, it is the way he tells the story.

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