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.

Author: Fell Meztigal
Country: Andorra
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Software
Published (Last): 7 January 2016
Pages: 273
PDF File Size: 13.2 Mb
ePub File Size: 9.35 Mb
ISBN: 847-1-53853-959-3
Downloads: 10950
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kajijar

A fascinating attempt by Tuchman to explain or at least illustrate why governments choose the wrong oof even when they know it’s the wrong path. This is important because all policy is determined by the mores of its age The appearance is inescapable that she has plumbed her cited sources not for their evocation of the mentality of an age but for some good quotes that support the contention of available alternatives.

And who pays the ultimate price of that folly?

The March of Folly – Wikipedia

Also by Barbara W. It is also not a very long book so you can easily read it in a week. I would call this a must for history fans or fans of military history. Some of this text is laborious and redundant; it’s most surprising.

This sort of decision making is in fact bbarbara common – leaders always follow the popular ‘wisdom’ and usually it turns out to be right. 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.

I found this to be the most interesting section as time and time again the politicians chose to ignore the facts and opinions of many to pursue an un-winnable conflict.

The reign of the Renaissance Popes and how their excesses, and their failure to recognize the growing discontent among the Church members, led directly to the Protestant Reformation. She remembers the first rule of history: She managed to keep me engaged with her stylish delivery, but I think this segment was likely included in order to have the book span a larger swatch of world history.


Perhaps it’s due to the fact that this history is not examined extensively in current day curricula like the American Revolution and Vietnam, but I think this section was tedious and repetitive.

Sep 10, Chris Jaffe rated it did not like it Shelves: She traces the history of this conflict all the way back to the Truman administration. Tuchman takes up a panoramic view of human history and exposes these decisions, and wonders with us I thought ‘The March of Folly’ would be a good read to balance out the optimism of The Wisdom of Crowds. For example, she exempts solitary autocratic rulers from folly because she wants the tuch,an to mainly apply to systemic problems of rulership.

Jul 09, Shima rated it it was amazing. On the Papal actions in the lead up to the reformation was it really the individual actions of some degenerates who headed up a corrupt system or was it the emergence of nationalism in Europe? Her three major examples are the aggressive actions of the Renaissance popes that resulted in the Reformation, Britain’s loss of the American colonies, and the American debacle marcy Vietnam.

It is hard to really draw lessons from the trojan horse as I would have thought it is rather likely that the whole thing is a myth written by the victors. As Tuchman proceeds through the case studies, the arguments regarding the nature of the folly and its consequences become more nuanced and complicated which leads me to conclude that, similar to how The Guns of Tuchmann was an excuse to write the story of the Goeben, the Vietnam case study is the real purpose of the book.

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. But my impression from the book is one of inevitability or is it fate?


She would have been wise to shave at least from that section and tighten it up a bit, although I attribute the boredom more to the tedious reality of the argument repeated similar debates in Parliament than her skill as a writer. As an author, Tuchman focused on producing popular history.

Some may read these excerpts and label them as “liberal” but they are ignorant of history. He achieved important results in og these endeavors, which being visible, have received ample notice as the visibles of history usually do.

Apr 02, Stephen rated it it was amazing Shelves: An exercise in historical interpretation such as this, tracing a single idea through a set of examples, is structured toward her weaknesses; and they are only too apparent. First of all, too much attention is paid to Troy, about which nothing is known, historically speaking.

Tuchman’s folly | The New Criterion

And our essence would appear — if Ms. Tuchman from her book The March of Folly: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The March of Folly is a deep dive; it’s not for escapists or fair weather readers. Summary [ edit ] The book is about “one of the most compelling paradoxes of history: Barbarz all 17 comments.

The March of Folly

LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. See 1 question about The March of Folly…. In the end a fairly depressing book which acknowledges the failures of societies to govern themselves well.

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 is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Tuchmanan American historian and author.