Practicing History: Selected Essays by Barbara W. Tuchman

By Barbara W. Tuchman

Assessment "Persuades and Enthralls...I can ponder no larger primer for the nonexpert who needs to benefit history." -- Chicago Sun-Times "Provocative, constant, and wonderfully Readable, an occasion to not be neglected through historical past buffs." -- The Baltimore solar From the interior Flap From considerate items at the historian's position to notable insights into America's earlier and current to trenchant observations at the overseas scene, Barbara W. Tuchman appears at historical past in a special method and attracts classes from what she sees. here's a most excellent physique of labor, the tale of a life-time spent "practicing history."

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They arrange systems and cycles into which history must be squeezed so that it will come out evenly and have pattern and a meaning. When history, wickedly disobliging, pops up in the wrong places, the systematizers hurriedly explain any such aberrant behavior by the climate. They need not reach so far; it is a matter of people. ” Prefabricated systems make me suspicious and science applied to history makes me wince. The nearest anyone has come to explaining history is, I think, Leon Trotsky, who both made history and wrote it.

We can never be certain that we have recaptured it as it really was. But the least we can do is to stay within the evidence. I do not invent anything, even the weather. One of my readers told me he particularly liked a passage in The Guns which tells how the British Army landed in France and how on that afternoon there was a sound of summer thunder in the air and the sun went down in a blood-red glow. He thought it an artistic touch of doom, but the fact is it was true. I found it in the memoirs of a British officer who landed on that day and heard the thunder and saw the blood-red sunset.

Emerson, using almost entirely one-syllable words, wrote what I believe are among the finest lines in English: By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world. Out of twenty-eight words, twenty-four are monosyllables. It is English at its purest, though hardly characteristic of its author. Or take this: On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece, And the grandeur that was Rome.

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