Barbara W. Tuchman: Practicing History Selected Essays

book books Practicing History Selected Essays – chernov–

Says by your favorite historian at least if you care to maintain your high opinion of their insight This was a disillusioning read primarily because it so clearly reveals the author s previously hidden biases Eurocentric fervently pro Israel to the point of Arabophobia socially conservative to the point of clueless prudishness None of it should be surprising I guess for someone born in 1912 but the undercurrents of internalized repression and uiet white supremacy were disheartening to this 21st century liberal readerThe worst comes in the middle section facile tossed off sketches from her time as a correspondent in Japan and Spain a self serving piece lionizing her rich family members early support of the Jewish State book reviews throwing shade on Freud Woodrow Wilson and Kissinger and stale panegyrics to humanity s great achievements The one bright spot is an examination of the Six Day War Called Israel s Swift Sword that succeeds in spite of its blatant uncritical hero worshipThe first section mostly concerned with her early attempts at writing history as well as her research and composition methods is charmingly down to earth The last section is mostly concerned with then contemporary events of Vietnam and Watergate And despite some lazy HuffPo level armchair politics it offers surprisingly trenchant thoughts for the Age of Trump Consider The Presidency has gained too great a lead it has bewitched the occupant the press and the public The villain is not the man but the office Consider progressives like me disappointed by Obama s drone strikes and maintainin. Istorian's role to striking insights into America's past and present to trenchant observations on the international scene Barbara W Tuchman looks at history in a uniue way and draws lessons from what she sees Spanning than four decades of writing in The New York Times Magazin.


G Guantanamo BayOr this He the president must appear firm he must appear dominant he must never on any account appear soft and by some magic transformation which he has come to believe in he must make history s list of great Presidents That rings true for every modern president from Reagan to Clinton to Obama to TrumpAnd finally But if it can be said that the press gives the public what it wants then all of us are responsible We have given too much greatness to the Presidency We might blame the 24 hour news networks or the social media outrage machine except that they re just the supply All of us provide the demandSo this was a disillusioning read in the best possible way I came to see the author not as possessing uniue insights and historical truths but as following her own obsessions wherever they led making connections some on target some off the mark and trying to stay honest despite temptations and past failures Kill your idols man I started out loving Barbara Tuchman s book of essays The first eight essays on the craft of writing history sent me over the moon My ardor went down just a degree or two in the next section which might be described as history in small chunks Although the final section in which she comments about 1960 1970 current affairs yields nuggets I found myself in disagreement with Tuchman and disengaged with her writing It seems to me the further away the period about which she writes eg Medieval times the Great War the I like her That said I would have no ualms recommending this book to an aspiring writer or an avid student of history. E The Atlantic Foreign Affairs Harper's The Nation and The Saturday Evening Post Tuchman weighs in on a range of eclectic topics from Israel and Mao Tse tung to a Freudian reading of Woodrow Wilson This is a splendid body of work the story of a lifetime spent practicing histo.

I ve appreciated Tuchman s history writing and visiting these essays than 30 years after they were written is fascinating Some of them are just curmudgeonly and out of date Some of the discussion of how to write good history really stands up to time Her opinions on the Vietnam War and Nixon are primary sources of their own for the time Her discussion of the problems with the US presidency ring really true in the time of Trump One of the fun parts of Goodread is finding books that I have not read by authors I likeor in this case love If you are not a historian and wonder what all the fuss about the subject it I suggest you read one of her books If you are a historian than by all means read all of her books and find out how to write about the subject I very much enjoyed this book Tuchman is definitely from a different era and writes about looking back to refined language while grappling with issues of whether or not to include vulgarity if it s part of the character of an historical figure She also writes with the racism that was common to her class and era she ascribes motivations and worldviews to the Oriental for example It s a bit jarring but mostly fascinating as an artifact of that era The book is divided into essays and lectures on writing about history and then essays and articles that are historical in content Both are fascinating her historical articles often examine lesser figures or moments as a way of illuminating larger issues And some of her sentences positively s They say you should never meet your heroes Also you probably should never read es. Synopsis Celebrated for bringing a personal touch to history in her Pulitzer Prize winning epic The Guns of August and other classic books Barbara W Tuchman reflects on world events and the historian's craft in these perceptive essential essays From thoughtful pieces on the

Barbara Wertheim Tuchman was an American self trained historian and author and double Pulitzer Prize winner She became best known for The Guns of August 1962 a history of the prelude and first month of World War IAs an author Tuchman focused on producing popular history Her clear dramatic storytelling covered topics as diverse as the 14th century and World War I and sold millions of copie