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.
||20 January 2004
|PDF File Size:
|ePub File Size:
||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
However I found the chapters dealing with the six terrible popes to be mind-numbing.
But in each case the political inertia of the power structure was such to make heeding the warnings impossible. Barbara Tuchman was a journalist before becoming a history author, and despite The March of Folly being a book about certain historical incidents, it is more a work of journalism than history. I would call this a must for history fans or fans of military history. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Tuchman takes up a panoramic view of human history and exposes these decisions, and wonders with us how much Folly it took to make these disastrous calls.
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. Self-interest is whatever conduces to the welfare or advantage of the body being governed; folly is a policy that in these terms is counter-productive. A book which informed my entire world view, and still does.
On the Americas I appreciated the overview of the revolution as she worked so much from the position of England, rather than from the wearisomely familiar perspective of the colonists.
The ultimate outcome of a policy is not what determines its qualification as folly.
Please try again later. World History Military History Category: When he and six fellow conspirators, as recorded by Herodotus, overthrew the reigning despot, they discussed what kind of government – whether a monarchy of one or an oligarchy of the wisest men – they should establish.
All major non-administration advisors argued against this action, and public notice began to grow. An unaddressed theme that comes out of the last two parts is the fact that these crises often grow out of situations that just weren’t seen as very important at the time. It qualifies as folly when it is a perverse persistence in a policy demonstrably unworkable or counter-productive.
He achieved important results in both these endeavors, which being visible, have received ample notice as the visibles of history usually do.
The March garbara Folly: Each of the four chapter case studies are fascinating reading. This books is c In this book Tuchman takes a step beyond the traditional historian’s story-telling role to provide color-commentary about a specific subset of examples of misgovernment mqrch she classifies as “folly.
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.
It is this section where the case for folly, though clearly presented, is tolly more complicated and relies heavily on the examples from the previous sections.
The March of Folly
For some years now I have been meaning to get a copy of “The March of Folly,” since it is a book which greatly appeals to me in its concept. It is however dangerous to assume the other extreme position – that if only ‘common-sense’ prevailed, much evil could have been avoided. Jan 10, James rated it liked it Shelves: The final portion was pretty long and hefty on Vietnam and, immediately coming off 18 hours of the Ken Burns documentary, the momentum dragged.
And our essence would appear — if Ms. Tuchman follj her book The March of Folly: Regardless of whether one could argue the alternatives convincingly, I found the topics a little dry and the text dense at times. I heartily recommend it to any Tuchman fans who have not yet discovered it.
Part of the argument in England had always been that losing the colonies would bring England down. In a May review in The New CriterionPaul Johnson criticized the book as having followed “the conventional, not to say threadbare, lines which the liberal media developed in the s: Pursuing the spoils of office like hounds on a scent, each of the six, who included a Borgia and two Medicis, was obsessed barbwra ambition to establish a family fortune that would outlive him.
A lot of the information was new to me, and well presented, there was just a lot of it including a very complete bibliography. Her point is that group think and a focus on assumptions despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary leads to a reinforcing tuchmman of wrong choices. There was a problem adding your email address. Instead of f About 8 years ago when I read this book I would have given it 4 stars.
Instead, we’re given front-row seats to the grinding wheel.
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara W. Tuchman
Books by Barbara W. All politicians should be forced to read this book. Soon success was seen as not coming and the growth of U. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. A fascinating attempt by Tuchman to explain or at least illustrate why governments choose the wrong path even when they know it’s the wrong path.
The governments’ “wood-headedness” towards policy that is counter to anything rational as well as contrary to respected voices barbaraa reason is something barbqra all ordinary members and voters of a democratic society ought to take heed of.
The Barbara Tuchman was a journalist before becoming a history author, and despite The March of Folly being a book about certain historical incidents, it is more a work of journalism than history. When I was in the 4th grade I found a book that my Mom had to read for college in the back of a cupboard.
As another example, it can only be folly if another reasonable alternative foply is available yet the counter productive choice is made. You see, Babs writes history in such a colorful, engaging manner that you don’t notice she’s shoveling mounds of knowledge into your memory muscle. Kind of like a supplement instructional manual for their job