War is the unfolding of miscalculations.

— Barbara Tuchman

The most authentic Barbara Tuchman quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development

The open frontier, the hardships of homesteading from scratch, the wealth of natural resources, the whole vast challenge of a continent waiting to be exploited, combined to produce a prevailing materialism and an American drive bent as much, if not more, on money, property, and power than was true of the Old World from which we had fled.

59

Books are the carriers of civilization.

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.

56

The nastiness of women [in the 14th century] was generally perceived at the close of life when a man began to worry about hell, and his sexual desire in any case fading.

49

Books are humanity in print.

35

More than a code of manners in war and love, Chivalry was a moral system, governing the whole of noble life.

33

To put on the garment of legitimacy is the first aim of every coup.

33

Strong prejudices in an ill-formed mind are hazardous to government, and when combined with a position of power even more so.

26

Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.

26

Policy is formed by preconceptions, by long implanted biases.

When information is relayed to policy-makers, they respond in terms of what is already inside their heads and consequently make policy less to fit the facts than to fit the notions and intentions formed out of the mental baggage that has accumulated in their minds since childhood.

25

Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.

23

In America, where the electoral process is drowning in commercial techniques of fund-raising and image-making, we may have completed a circle back to a selection process as unconcerned with qualifications as that which made Darius King of Persia. ... he whose horse was the first to neigh at sunrise should be King.

22

The fleet sailed to its war base in the North Sea, headed not so much for some rendezvous with glory as for rendezvous with discretion.

21

About Barbara Tuchman

Quotes 125 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Historian
Birthday January 30, 1912

Business, like a jackal, trotted on the heels of war.

20

Diplomacy means all the wicked devices of the Old World, spheres of influence, balances of power, secret treaties, triple alliances, and, during the interim period, appeasement of Fascism.

16

An essential element for good writing is a good ear: One must listen to the sound of one's own prose.

15

Money was the crux. Raising money to pay the cost of war was to cause more damage to 14th century society than the physical destruction of war itself.

13

Modern historians have suggested that in his last years he (Richard II) was overtaken by mental disease, but that is only a modern view of the malfunction common to 14th century rulers: inability to inhibit impulse.

12

The better part of valor is to spend it learning to live with differences, however hostile, unless and until we can find another planet.

11

Words are seductive and dangerous material, to be used with caution.

11

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled.

7

Books are the carriers of civilization... Books are humanity in print.

7

Reasonable orders are easy enough to obey;

it is capricious, bureaucratic or plain idiotic demands that form the habit of discipline.

6

In April 1917 the illusion of isolation was destroyed, America came to the end of innocence, and of the exuberant freedom of bachelor independence. That the responsibilities of world power have not made us happier is no surprise. To help ourselves manage them, we have replaced the illusion of isolation with a new illusion of omnipotence.

6

in the midst of war and crisis nothing is as clear or as certain as it appears in hindsight

5

To put away one's own original thoughts in order to take up a book is a sin against the Holy Ghost.

4

Nothing sickens me more than the closed door of a library.

4

One constant among the elements of 1914—as of any era—was the disposition of everyone on all sides not to prepare for the harder alternative, not to act upon what they suspected to be true.

4

When people don't have an objective, there's much less dynamic effort, and that makes life a lot less interesting.

3

In a country where misery and want were the foundation of the social structure, famine was periodic, death from starvation common, disease pervasive, thievery normal, and graft and corruption taken for granted, the elimination of these conditions in Communist China is so striking that negative aspects of the new rule fade in relative importance.

3

Above all, discard the irrelevant.

3

Honor wears different coats to different eyes.

3

No more distressing moment can ever face a British government than that which requires it to come to a hard, fast and specific decision.

3

No economic activity was more irrepressible [in the 14th century] than the investment and lending at interest of money; it was the basis for the rise of the Western capitalist economy and the building of private fortunes-and it was based on the sin of usury.

3

Government remains the paramount area of folly because it is there that men seek power over others - only to lose it over themselves.

3

Friendship of a kind that cannot easily be reversed tomorrow must have its roots in common interests and shared beliefs.

3

Historians who stuff in every item of research they have found, every shoelace and telephone call of a biographical subject, are not doing the hard work of selecting and shaping a readable story.

3

Wisdom - meaning judgment acting on experience, common sense, available knowledge, and a decent appreciation of probability.

3

Dead battles, like dead generals, hold the military mind in their dead grip.

3

To gain victory over the flesh was the purpose of fasting and celibacy, which denied the pleasures of this world for the sake of reward in the next.

3

bureaucracy, safely repeating today what it did yesterday, rolls on as ineluctably as some vast computer, which, once penetrated by error, duplicates it forever.

3

Learning from experience is a faculty almost never practiced

2

satire is a wrapping of exaggeration around a core of reality.

2

When commerce with Moslems flourished, zeal for their massacre declined.

2

If wisdom in government eludes us, perhaps courage could substitute-the moral courage to terminate mistakes.

2

Theology being the work of males, original sin was traced to the female.

2

That the Jews were unholy was a belief so ingrained by the Church [by the 14th century] that the most devout persons were the harshest in their antipathy, none more so than St. Louis.

0

The appetite for power is old and irrepressible in humankind, and in its action almost always destructive.

0

No less a bold and pugnacious figure than Winston Churchill broke down and was unable to finish his remarks at the sendoff of the British Expeditionary Force into the maelstrom of World War I in Europe.

0

The reality of a question is inevitably more complicated than we would like to suppose.

0
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