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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People needing a refresher course in history. Tuchman tends to reveal her adoration towards Kennedy–like many historians of her era–and her disdain of the Johnson and Nixon administrations.

What I found most interesting about this discussion of the major events that led up the American Revolution is that Tuchman spent most of her time looking through the eyes of the British, in contrast to peering through the eyes of the American colonist, which is the more common perspective used in studies of this period.

If only the British had refrained from wooden headed pursuit of policies that could only drive the colonists to revolution. The British Lose America 20 years of fumbles – not paying any attention to the mood of the people in the colonies, not evaluating how likely their methods are to succeed. Contents By section 1. It must have been perceived as counter-productive in its own time, not merely by hindsight.

While this is not the most gripping of Tuchman’s writings, it is a very readable exploration of the blindness of those who often lead nations into conflicts they cannot win. It can be overwhelming and is not welcoming to readers unfamiliar with this kind of writing.

Do I need to mention the Yes-Men that surround them? Living in America we obviously and rightfully approach the American Revolution from an American-centric perspective.

The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

You see, Babs writes history in such a colorful, engaging manner that you don’t no Babs is one craftybagbara instructor and this ranks highly among the BEST history books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. By ruse of a clever groom who tethered a favorite mare at the critical spot, Darius’ horse performed on time and his fortunate master, thus singled out as the best man for the job, ascended the throne.

I find this curious indeed and have been wondering for some time why it is so. Her book is vivid, clear, unfussy, with just the right density of diction. Insightful, particularly for a history noob like myself, Barb’s writing is full of relevant advice, reflected in the mistakes of the past.


The March of Folly

Not sure I could read a book that speaks of our persistent folly in Vietnam, it may appear to be folly but what would she want?

Her clear, dramatic storytelling covered topics as diverse as the 14th century and World War I, and sold millions of copies.

There was a problem adding your email address. If it was longer, maybe she’d have time to provide insight. Why would these people vote against their own self-interest now? On the other hand, “Kennedy was no wooden head,” since he avoided making a decision on Vietnam; had he lived, he would presumably either have withdrawn from Vietnam or become another wooden head. It sort of sums up the attitude and policy of North Vietnam from until the defeat of the U.

Here was a classic case of seeing the truth and acting without reference to it. Barbara Tuchman is a first-rate writer and historian whose books I have much enjoyed. As such, it is more of a screed against certain practices, rather than a real attempt at balanced or impartial history. However she places on this relatively simple definition a series of qualifiers and exemptions as to muddy the waters.

However, I think there is one more angle to be considered here.

Book review — THE MARCH OF FOLLY By Barbara W. Tuchman

Many individuals are guilty of folly Tuchman also calls this woodenheadednessbut when governments persist in folly, their actions can adversely affect thousands, even millions of lives.

The 6 major villains were: That section is followed by three book-length chapters, each a powerful and marvelous read. There are times when the circumstances are too inter-dependent or too much at the edge-of-the-cliff that no-one, not even common-sense, could have anticipated the fall that was coming by taking the steps that should have been matter-of-course at any other point.

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.

The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara W. Tuchman

After finishing this portion, I immediately went about trying to locate other books on the period. I felt like I could better underrstand the pitfalls of bad government decision making and how to avoid making the same mistakes if I was ever in a s Insightful, particularly for a history noob like folpy, Barb’s writing is full of relevant advice, reflected in the mistakes of the past.


Surely common-sense would not have allowed these?

It qualifies as folly when it is a perverse persistence in a policy demonstrably unworkable or counter-productive. Tuchman from her book The March of Folly: On the other hand, it’s too short.

These include the Trojans’s unaccountable bringing of the Trojan horse into Troy; the transgressions of the Renaissance Popes which brought on the Reformation; the loss by Britain of the American colonies; and America’s own pointless war in Vietnam.

I would argue that with no reform the same type of nitwit managed go on to build a very large empire and was there really anything wiser council would have done but delay the inevitable. View all 3 comments.

I mostly skimmed over the last two-thirds. This is the second gem by Barbara Tuchman that I’ve tackled, after the stellar The Guns of Augustand the impressiveness of her work has led to my developing rather intense, and possibly inappropriate, feelings for her.

Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror”, and I do believe that is what led me to all the other history books I’ve enjoyed in the years since. Unfortunately of all her books this one feels the most like a forced fitting of history to make a point which perhaps could be more concisely put and in many cases I thought the desire to make the argument lead her to overstate the individual actions over the broad societal forces.

Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. This sort of decision making is in fact quite common – leaders always follow the popular ‘wisdom’ and usually it turns out to be right. I particularly enjoyed the Vietnam section, as I’ve really never read anything about it before.

Un libro fondamentale per capire certi meccanismi della politica e della vita che ci possono sembrare impossibili ma che alla fine avvengono e anche molto spesso. Second, the account of the involvements of France and the United States in VietNam is of a journalistic quality not in keeping with the rest of the book, though it may well have been her motive for writing it.