Practicing History: Selected Essays

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Random House Publishing Group, Jul 13, 2011 - History - 352 pages
2 Reviews
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 historian’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 unique way and draws lessons from what she sees. Spanning more than four decades of writing in The New York Times Magazine, 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 history.”
 
Praise for Practicing History
 
“Persuades and enthralls . . . I can think of no better primer for the nonexpert who wishes to learn history.”Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Provocative, consistent, and beautifully readable, an event not to be missed by history buffs.”—Baltimore Sun
 
“A delight to read.”—The New York Times Book Review
 

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PRACTICING HISTORY: Selected Essays

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The title is apt: Tuchman does indeed practice history as a lawyer practices law, or a doctor medicine; that is, she applies it—to the writing of involving narratives, to the drawing of contemporary ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - moibibliomaniac - LibraryThing

I enjoyed reading her book about Stillwell in China many years ago, and enjoyed reading this book this year. If you want to know how history is written, read this book. Read full review

Contents

Preface
3
When Does History Happen?
25
The Historian as Artist
45
Problems in Writing the Biography of General Stilwell
65
Biography as a Prism of History
80
A Clinical Note
93
The Final Solution 1 18
118
Land of Unlimited Impossibilities
123
Ambassador Morgenthaus Story
208
SelfPortrait
218
Mankinds Better Moments
227
LEARNING FROM HISTORY
245
Vietnam
256
Historical Clues to Present Discontents
267
Generalship
276
Why PolicyMakers Do Not Listen
287

Woodrow Wilson on Freuds Couch
146
How We Entered World War I
158
Israels Swift Sword
173
If Mao Had Come to Washington
188
Watergate and the Presidency 2 94
294
DEFUSING THE PRESIDENCY
301
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About the author (2011)

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912–1989) achieved prominence as a historian with The Zimmermann Telegram and international fame with The Guns of August—a huge bestseller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Her other works include Bible and Sword, The Proud Tower, Stilwell and the American Experience in China (for which Tuchman was awarded a second Pulitzer Prize), Notes from China, A Distant Mirror, Practicing History, The March of Folly, and The First Salute.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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