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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The sections on the American Revolution and the Vietnam War are interesting in themselves, but one wonders at times, given the detail involved in both cases, if Tuchman is not actually off the rails.

The March of Folly Quotes

Tuchman is usually crisp and succinct. Implicit in Tuchman’s definition of folly is the suggestion that if individuals in power at the time had been wiser the subsequent history could have played out in a peaceful manner. She gives us a comentary.

You should be reading it right now. The length she devoted to her topics are the ideal bad length. 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. I think I have felt very keenly the feelings of many of our young men concerning this terrible conflict in which we are engaged, but I am sure we are there because of a great humanitarian spirit in the hearts of the people of this nation. The failure of America in Vietnam: If only the American presidents and their staff had listened to advisors who from the beginning questioned the importance of Vietnam and our ability to win there.

They were low-priority, low-impact items that only increased in importance after missteps had caused the situation to blow up. Tuchman presents some troubling facts, mostly about the management of the conflict. I’d love to know what Barbara Tuchman, who wrote this inwould think of the current U. The final portion was pretty long and hefty on Vietnam and, immediately coming off 18 hours of the Ken Burns documentary, the momentum dragged.


In America, where the electoral tuchmzn is drowning in commercial techniques of fund-raising and image-making, we may have completed a circle back to a selection process as unconcerned with qualifications as that which made Darius King of Persia.

Also, within the Vietnam chapters, Ms. So it appears to me, especially with reference to the beginning of the book, where she discusses both the siege of Troy and then the Papacy during the Renaissance, when she seems very shaky indeed.

But there are times in history when this normal course of action fails. Apr 02, Ben Shee rated it it was amazing. I would argue that with no reform the same type of nitwit tolly go on to build a very large empire and was there really anything wiser council would have done but delay the inevitable. Or maybe not so unfortunate. American Betrays Herself in Vietnam The idiocy of the French is described in the book, and then the American presidents go down the same path.

The idea of the point of office being something bigger than the self is a more modern idea this is briefly addressed in the epilogue. Tuchman demystifies some of it, but tucnman cynicism and bias is most apparent during this chapter. A book which informed my entire world view, and still does.

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

Instead of falling back on just “telling of a story,” Tuchman does what few historians are able to pull off without sounding brbara. Read it Forward Read it first. The last section reminds me very much of Neil Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Liewhich was written several years later than Tuchman’s narrative.

What is clear marh that when incapacity is joined by complacency, the result is the worst possible combination. Living in America we obviously and rightfully approach the American Revolution from an American-centric perspective.


Regardless of whether one could argue the alternatives convincingly, I found the topics a little dry and the text dense at times. May 13, Susan rated it it was amazing. Twice a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, author Barbara Tuchman now tackles the pervasive presence of folly in governments thru the ages.

However, I can now say, somewhat reluctantly, that “The March of Folly” is not up to the standard of Tuchman’s earlier books. 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.

It qualifies as folly when it is a perverse persistence in a policy demonstrably unworkable or counter-productive. Without carrying this review too far into the book’s wonderful and biting commentary, I will just say that this book is recommended, but not for those that fo,ly no real experience with intellectual historical study.

These are the points when good practices suddenly seem like Follies. This page was last edited on 8 Decemberat Some of this text is laborious and redundant; it’s most surprising. 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. It was a fascinating time. The fact that there is no stated plan at the beginning of the book chapters and sub-headings and synopses, I mean makes me wonder indeed, just how much of a plan she had.

I find this curious indeed and have been wondering for some time why it is so.