Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Barbara Tuchman (1912 – 1989)


Award-winning American historian and author.
Barbara Tuchman
When reproached for spending too much time with books and clerks, Charles answered, “As long as knowledge is honored in this country, so long will it prosper.”
Tuchman quotes
The emphasis on sorcery reflected accusations by the authorities more than it did actual practice. Being threatened, the Church responded by virulent persecution.
Tuchman
His (Deschamps’) complaint of court life was the same as is made of government at the top in any age: it was composed of hypocrisy, flattery, lying, paying and betraying; it was where calumny and cupidity reigned, common sense lacked, truth dared not appear, and where to survive one had to be deaf, blind, and dumb.




Tuchman Barbara quotes
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.
Tuchman Barbara
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.
Barbara Tuchman quotes
For belligerent purposes, the 14th century, like the 20th, commanded a technology more sophisticated than the mental and moral capacity that guided its use.
Barbara Tuchman
If it is not profitable for the common good that authority should be retained, it ought to be relinquished.
Tuchman Barbara quotes
What is government but an arrangement by which the many accept the authority of the few?
Tuchman
The system was aided by the Church, whose natural interests allied it more to the great than to the meek.
Tuchman Barbara
To put on the garment of legitimacy is the first aim of every coup.
Barbara Tuchman
Business, like a jackal, trotted on the heels of war.




Barbara Tuchman quotes
To admit error and cut losses is rare among individuals, unknown among states.
Barbara Tuchman
Doctrine tied itself into infinite knots over the realities of sex.
Tuchman quotes
Against men habituated to lawless force, violent punishment failed to bring the violence under control.
Tuchman Barbara
The Hundred Years' War, like the crises of the Church in the same period, broke apart medieval unity.
Tuchman Barbara quotes
The real reason for his attitude lay deeper. Essentially, Gloucester and the barons of his party were opposed to peace because they felt war to be their occupation. Behind them were the poorer knights and squires and archers of England, who, unconcerned with rights or wrongs, were “inclined to war such as had been their livelihood.”
Barbara Tuchman
When commerce with Moslems flourished, zeal for their massacre declined.
Barbara Tuchman quotes
In the midst of events there is no perspective.
Barbara Tuchman
Whatever solace the Christian faith could give was balanced by the anxiety it generated.
Tuchman Barbara
Chroniclers habitually matched numbers to the awesomeness of the event.


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