Barbara Tuchman


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Barbara Wertheim Tuchman (January 30, 1912 – February 6, 1989) was an American historian and author. She became widely known first for The Guns of August (later August 1914), a best-selling history of the prelude to and the first month of World War I, which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1963.

Tuchman focused on writing popular history. Her clear, dramatic ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Diplomacy means all the wicked devices of the Old World, spheres of influence, balances of power, secret treaties, triple alliances, and, during the interwar period, appeasement of Fascism.''
    Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989), U.S. historian. "If Mao Had Come to Washington in 1945," Foreign Affairs (New York, Oct. 1972). Referring to "the dee...
  • ''Reasonable orders are easy enough to obey; it is capricious, bureaucratic or plain idiotic demands that form the habit of discipline.''
    Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989), U.S. historian. Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1970).
  • ''No more distressing moment can ever face a British government than that which requires it to come to a hard, fast and specific decision.''
    Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989), U.S. historian. The Guns of August, ch. 9 (1962).
  • ''Dead battles, like dead generals, hold the military mind in their dead grip.''
    Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989), U.S. historian. The Guns of August, ch. 2 (1962).
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