|The March of Folly
From Troy to Vietnam
Barbara W. Tuchman
|In The March of Folly, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Barbara W. Tuchman tackles her boldest subject—the pervasive presence through the ages of folly in government. Drawing on a comprehensive array of examples, from Montezuma’s senseless surrender of his empire in 1520 to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Tuchman defines folly as the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests, despite the availability of feasible alternatives.
Tuchman then goes on to illuminate in brilliant detail four decisive turning points in history that illustrate the very heights of folly in government—the Trojan War, the breakup of the Holy See provoked by the Renaissance Popes, the loss of the American colonies by Britain’s George III, and the United States’ own persistent folly in Vietnam. The March of Folly brings the people, places, and events of history magnificently alive for today’s reader—which is the incomparable talent of Barbara W. Tuchman.