The March of Folly has ratings and reviews. Twice a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, author Barbara Tuchman now tackles the pervasive presence of. 64 quotes from The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam: ‘Chief among the forces affecting political folly is lust for power, named by Tacitus as the mo. Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Barbara W. Tuchman, author of the World War I masterpiece The Guns of August, grapples with her boldest subject.

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Regardless of whether one could argue the alternatives convincingly, I found the tucmhan a little dry and the text dense at times. Also the popes were extraordinarily consistent in their actions so it is hard to see what was folly versus ingrained barbzra self destructive custom. The New York Review of Books. 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: From Troy to Vietnam

Kirkus Reviews wrote in a Feb 15, review, “An exercise in historical interpretation such as brabara, tracing a single idea through a set of examples, is structured toward [Tuchman’s] weaknesses; and they are only too apparent. 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. There seemed to be an awful hhe of ‘facts’ in each chapter. Having said all of that while interesting the follu book feels like you could have also picked examples where some of those features led to unliekly success.


In a May review in The Fklly CriterionPaul Johnson criticized the book as having followed “the conventional, not to say threadbare, lines which the liberal media developed in the s: The Americans acted under the illusion that they were fighting against Communism and restraining the so-called domino effect when in reality they were fighting against those who believed they were fighting a war of national liberation.

Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. A highly readable account of four instances of human folly over the last years.

The March of Folly Quotes by Barbara W. Tuchman

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. We shall be forced ultimately to retreat: Now if I can only get Babs to re-write these other books to make them more interesting. The March of Folly is a deep dive; it’s not for escapists or fair weather readers.

About 8 years ago when I read this book I would have given it 4 stars. All misgovernment is contrary to self-interest in the long run, but may actually strengthen a regime temporarily.

The Fall of Troy: Secondly, a feasible alternative course of action must have fllly available. Notwithstanding the frequent references in the epic to the fall of Troy being ordained, it was not fate but free choice that took the Horse within the walls.

Pursuit of Policy Contrary to Self-Interest This one chapter gives a succinct overview of the rest of the book.

The March of Folly Quotes

The American Revolution chapter in particular was especially intriguing. The real ‘folly’ may belong more rolly being unable to prioritize correctly, but even that is an exercise in hindsight.


The final portion was pretty long and hefty on Vietnam and, immediately coming off 18 hours of the Ken Burns documentary, the momentum dragged.

Another superb section of the book. The examples used are valid and make sense. They’re the new British ruling class, and they’re as oblivious as the British ruling class and the Renaissance popes were to what was actually going on around them. Living in America we obviously and rightfully approach the American Revolution from an American-centric perspective. These follies are chosen because viable alternatives were available and popularly supported, and the decisions wer Good topic, but a little dry, fairly dense, and not as good as The Guns of August.

Without carrying this review too far foly 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. Refresh and try again.

This should make us conclude that the main tuchmah of the book, and of history, is one of Tolstoy-ian embrace of the ‘Wisdom of the Masses’? A lot of the information was new to me, and well presented, there was just a lot of it including a very complete bibliography. She gives us a comentary.

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