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

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Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Barbara W. Tuchman, author of the World War I masterpiece The Guns of August, grapples with her boldest subject: the pervasive presence, through the ages, of failure, mismanagement, and delusion in government.
Drawing on a comprehensive array of examples, from Montezuma’s senseless surrender of his empire in 1520 to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Barbara W. Tuchman defines folly as the pursuit by government of policies contrary to their own interests, despite the availability of feasible alternatives. In brilliant detail, Tuchman illuminates four decisive turning points in history that illustrate the very heights of folly: the Trojan War, the breakup of the Holy See provoked by the Renaissance popes, the loss of the American colonies by Britain’s George III, and the United States’ own persistent mistakes in Vietnam. Throughout The March of Folly, Tuchman’s incomparable talent for animating the people, places, and events of history is on spectacular display.
Praise for The March of Folly
“A glittering narrative . . . a moral [book] on the crimes and follies of governments and the misfortunes the governed suffer in consequence.”—The New York Times Book Review
“An admirable survey . . . I haven’t read a more relevant book in years.”—John Kenneth Galbraith, The Boston Sunday Globe
“A superb chronicle . . . a masterly examination.”—Chicago Sun-Times

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Barbara W. Tuchman

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BARBARA TUCHMAN received her bachelor's degree in history and literature from Radcliffe College in 1933. Following her graduation, she took a position with the American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations in Japan, where she also wrote for the Far Eastern Survey and Pacific Affairs. Upon her return to the US, Tuchman began working for The Nation, and in 1937 she corresponded from Valencia and Madrid on the Spanish Civil War. Her titles include Bible and Sword, The Zimmerman Telegram, The Proud Tower, Notes from China, A Distant Mirror, Practicing History, The March of Folly, and The First Salute. Tuchman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1963 for The Guns of August and in 1972 for Stillwell and the American Experience in China. She died in February, 1989 and was survived by her husband, three daughters, and four grandchildren.

Author Hometown: New York, NY
Published July 20, 2011 by Random House. 447 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Travel, War, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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At her best, popular historian Tuchman tells a good story.

May 26 2012 | Read Full Review of The March of Folly: From Troy...

Daily Kos

I can't help but wonder if the US government might've preferred a "known known" - like Musharraf - to remain in power since Pakistan is sitting on quite a few nukes that are tested and ready to go...

Dec 27 2007 | Read Full Review of The March of Folly: From Troy...

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