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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While I found her arguments well reasoned I could not shake the feeling that much of the evidence was carefully selected to prove her points while counter evidence was left out. This books is foply 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 that she classifies as “folly.

A terrific end to an amazing survey of history. Or maybe not so unfortunate.

The book is about “one of the most compelling paradoxes of history: This is important because all babara is determined by the mores of its age Her clear, dramatic storytelling covered topics magch diverse as the 14th century and World War I, and sold millions of copies.

The Vietnam War was a badly managed war and was fought for troubling reasons, but I struggle to call it completely vain in purpose the way that Tuchman does. On the one hand, it’s too long — at about pages per part, it becomes a slog to get through each.

The longest war had come to an end I got nothing out of the first third when I tried to read it, and I didn’t seem over the parts I skimmed. The New York Review of Books. The Renaissance Popes and the Protestant Reformation: Mankind, it seems, makes a poorer performance of government than of almost any other human activity.


Tuchman spends some pages at the beginning of the book describing a number of “bonehead” and “assclowny” decisions in history that didn’t qualify as folly, either because they were a single instance of governmental psychosis, or because they were carried out at the command of a dictator and not a coordinated governmental policy. Darius argued that they should keep to the rule of one and obtain the best government by choosing “the very best man in the whole state.

As such, it paints a picture of the excesses and temporal politics of the office while calls for ecclesiastical reform go unheeded. This sort of decision making is in fact quite common – leaders always follow the popular ‘wisdom’ and usually it turns out to be right. 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.

The focus is on spectacular failures: 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. Her point is that group think and a focus on assumptions despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary leads to a reinforcing spiral of wrong choices.

You see, Yhe writes history in such a colorful, engaging manner that you don’t notice she’s shoveling mounds of knowledge into your memory muscle. The popes, in spite of criticism from many clerics and kings c 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. If only those Trojans had listened to Laocoon the city would not have fallen.


The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

Everyone in the current US Congress is a millionaire. Tuchman takes up babara 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. Within years, they might actaully learn something. Tuchman considers the end result of the conflict to be fairly inevitable and right or wrong, this assumption helps keep her on-topicand concentrates on how British policy ended up alienating people who wanted to be part of the empire into rebelling.

All misgovernment is contrary to self-interest in the marxh run, but may actually strengthen a regime temporarily.

The March of Folly Quotes by Barbara W. Tuchman

She chronicles their ignoring of discontent, and the power of the American tucchman for freedom. The actions must be clearly contrary to the self-interest of the organization or group pursuing them; 2.

Surely common-sense would not have allowed these? Un libro fondamentale per capire certi meccanismi della politica e della vita che ci possono sembrare impossibili ma che alla fine avvengono e anche molto spesso. The dangers of group think, the courage folpy to challenge the status quo and above all a ruling body that pursues principle no matter how misguided and no matter how divorced from reality.

Tuchman takes up a panoramic view of human history and exposes these decisions, and wonders with us how much Folly it volly to make these disastrous calls. That book was Barbara W.