Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Barbara W. Tuchman, author of the World War I masterpiece The Guns of August, grapples with her boldest subject. Current U.S. politics can be defined by what the historian referred to in her book “The March of Folly” as a “wooden-headedness” in. IN her latest book, Barbara W. Tuchman – the author of such . But any way one approaches ”The March of Folly,” it is unsatisfying, to say the.

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All politicians should be forced to read this book. The main problem is that it ignores that high office was seen as a mach of self- or family- aggrandizement.

None of the sections work as straight narrative: Insightful, particularly for a history noob like myself, Barb’s writing is full of relevant advice, reflected in the mistakes of the past. And who pays the ultimate price of that folly? The only way to account for such self-destructive policies, in Tuchman’s view, is to label them follies; but that, as she seems unaware, puts them beyond rational explanation.

Please try again later. The dangers of group think, the courage needed to challenge the status quo and above all a ruling body that pursues principle no matter how misguided and no matter how divorced from reality. And it was just rehashing. The appearance is inescapable that she has plumbed her varbara sources not for their evocation of the mentality of an age but for some good quotes that support the contention of available alternatives.

On the Americas I appreciated the overview of the revolution as she madch so much from the position of England, rather than from the wearisomely familiar perspective of the colonists.

It was a fascinating time. Barbara Tuchman has a way of viewing history as few can. The fault in this book is that this subject matter can be pretty exhausting even with the only page book. Bob Corbett corbetre webster. Not kf a fascinating premise but hopefully informative as well. But the Vietnam War was fresh in the minds of readers when this book was first published fpllynine years after the fall of Saigon.


My only quibble here is that I think Tuchman’s “objectivity” may have slipped away to make a sandwich or take a nap because you can readily see that she was strongly against the war. After finishing this portion, I immediately went about trying to locate other books on the period. In this one she tells several and keeps your attention better.

Jul 15, Owen rated it it if ok Shelves: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Looking for More Great Reads?

The March of Folly by Barbara W. Tuchman | : Books

Whether that was bad luck or was owing to the almost exclusive hold of the ultraprivileged on decision-making positions is not clear beyond question. The French had held Vietnam before WWII and wanted to reestablish its control after the war, but the Vietnamese were rebelling against this colonial rule. Implicit in Tuchman’s definition of folly is marcg suggestion that if ov in power at the time had been wiser the subsequent history could have played out in a peaceful manner.

If only those Trojans had listened to Laocoon the city would not have fallen. Tuchman is usually crisp and succinct. Defining folly as the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests, despite the availability of feasible alternatives, Tuchman details four decisive turning points in history that illustrate the very heights of folly flly Twice a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, author Barbara Tuchman now tackles the pervasive presence of folly in governments thru the ages.

The premise was so promising, noted historian takes a four egregious disatsers the trojan horse, the papal actions in the lead up to Luther, the loss of the american colonies and the Vietnam war to understand what led to the decisions. Well, really three things tuchmwn spends just one brief chapter on the fourth item, Troy follh the Trojan War. Without carrying this review too far into the book’s wonderful and biting commentary, I will just say that this book is recommended, but not for those that have no real experience with intellectual historical study.

The March of Folly – Wikipedia

Additional examples are referenced throughout the book as well. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Aug 08, Ed rated it really tuchnan it Recommends it for: Her book is vivid, clear, unfussy, with just the right density of diction. While Tuchman’s gaze is squarely fixed on ministers in London trying to implement an unenforceable tax, the real dynamics of colonial rebellion were being played out in America.



She gives us a comentary. Sep 10, Chris Jaffe rated it did not like it Shelves: Return to Book Page. That principle of historical interpretation is likely to satisfy very few. Perhaps this first fault leads to the second, although not entirely.

Doubly depressing because the only leadership trait the book singles out as having promise of good government is moral character. See all books by Barbara W.

Open Preview See a Problem? Yet history proved otherwise.

As Tuchman proceeds through the case studies, the arguments regarding the nature of the fokly and its consequences become more nuanced and complicated which leads me to conclude that, similar to how The Guns of August was an excuse to write the story of the Goeben, the Vietnam case study is the real purpose of the book.

I remember just about everything about Vietnam, from the fall of Dien Bien Phu when I was still a child to the helicopter escape from the US Embassy in Saigon when I was a young woman raising two children and going to grad school.

MAGA Books like this don’t make my view of humanity less dim. Indeed, it was because genuine religious and moral feeling was still present that dismay at the corruption of the clergy and especially of the Holy See was so acute and yearning for reform so strong. That, or farcically tragic. Pursuing the spoils of office like hounds on a scent, each of the tucuman, who included a Borgia and two Medicis, was obsessed by ambition to establish a family fortune that would outlive him.