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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Their ineptitude pushes the colonies towards rebellion. Firstly, the writing is not up to par and I can only put this down to sloppy editing. Kirkus Reviews wrote in a Feb 15, review, “An exercise in historical interpretation such as this, tracing a single idea through a set of examples, is structured toward [Tuchman’s] weaknesses; and they are only too apparent.

No fixed policy Excessive extravagance Illusion of permanence and the inviolability of their power Her next case study was the British loss of the North American colonies. The New York Review of Books. Read it Forward Read it first. Tuchman from her book The March of Folly: The Renaissance Popes and the Protestant Reformation: I found the section on Troy extremely interesting, the section on the Popes not very interesting, and the introduction I found OK.

Jul 20, Pages Buy. In the end a fairly depressing book which acknowledges the failures of societies to govern themselves well. It sort of sums up the attitude and policy of North Vietnam from until the defeat of the U. And what was that, you might ask?

The main problem is that it ignores that high office was seen as a means of self- or family- aggrandizement. That sort of thinking only allows us to make the same mistakes again, precisely because common-sense would allow it!

In addition to the issue of taxation without representation the colonists were extremely unhappy with the British mxrch army of 10, But there are times in history when this normal course of tucjman fails.

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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.

We are a prideful, belligerent, deceitful, artful, malignant, umbragious — a word I learned in reading this book—species. Although appearing to be disparate events and time periods, and one being veiled by mythology, Tuchman asserts that each have similar characteristics and barbarw. It’s too long to be fun and too unoriginal to be worth reading. Ffolly Tuchman catalogues a long list of individual scoundrels, especially in political and governmental circles, she points out that huge masses still tried to live decent lives and relied on their Catholic religion for guidance.

Contents By section 1. It is quite a powerful argument and one we would dearly love to embrace – it gives us the possibility of a future where we volly side-step such follies, by mxrch these very decision making practices. Maxwell titled Encircled in the Arms of His Love.

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.

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

Each is well written, but are effectively a completely separate work, since they just serve to try to illustrate her point, instead of having any inherent connection to each other.

The governments’ “wood-headedness” towards policy that is counter to anything rational as well as contrary to respected voices of reason is something that all ordinary members and voters of a democratic society ought to take heed of. Sounds like the election alright, except it was Putin holding a dog-whistle meme pony over the ffolly and the criteria was whoever made the “libtards” cry harder.

It is in many ways a depressing book, particularly in the light of the incredible stupidity and even more impressive veniality of the current American government. By June of Johnson had approved combat troops and increased the draft. Kings, Po The March of Folly is an unfortunate title.

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

However, I can now say, somewhat reluctantly, that “The March of Folly” is not up to the standard of Tuchman’s earlier books. Tuchman emphasizes that never was the war really in the interest of the U.


It can be overwhelming and is not welcoming to readers unfamiliar with this kind of writing. May 13, Susan rated it it was amazing. Tuchman presents some troubling facts, mostly about the management of the conflict.

The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

She was just telling tales she felt like rehashing. Doubly depressing because the only leadership trait the book singles out tucgman having promise of good government is moral character.

See 1 question about The March of Folly…. She quotes their letters and their journals; she highlights their disagreements and apathy toward the American colonies.

Theirs was a folly of perversity, perhaps the most consequential to Western history, if measured by its result in centuries of ensuing hostility and fratricidal war. Mar 16, Riku Sayuj rated it liked it.

Kind of like the “color-man” while listening to a sporting event, Tuchman examines the idea of “folly,” or the persistent pursuit of a policy by government or those in power that is “contradictory to their own interests. The actions must be conducted by a number of individuals, not just one deranged maniac; and 4. The March of Folly: The March of Folly is a deep dive; it’s not for escapists or fair weather readers.

One by one each of those chapters are marvelous and challenging reading. View all 18 comments. This is the approach of many snapshot, for-fun history books that tell you of ” Greatest Mistakes in History” or whatever.

But in each case the political inertia of the power structure was such to make heeding the warnings impossible. Open Preview See a Problem?