5. The March of Folly: Barbara W. Tuchman

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5. The March of Folly: Barbara W. Tuchman

Post  Patguy on Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:32 pm

Subtitled: From Troy to Vietnam.

Historian Tuchman examines the role of “folly” in history, folly here defined as activities by the state that lead to a disaster that could have been avoided and was warned about. So: the Trojan Horse, the split of the Renaissance papacy, Britain losing the American colonies, and American involvement in Vietnam. All of these get a respectable overview, and Tuchman focuses on all of the warning signs that led to the ultimate disasters but were unable to prevent them.

This book is entertaining and informative but feels a bit thin, and the connecting thread of “folly” seems somewhat arbitrarily chosen. It is certainly worth reading, but it is not a masterpiece like The Guns of August.

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