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By Barbara W. Tuchman

Two times a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, writer Barbara Tuchman now tackles the pervasive presence of folly in governments in the course of the a long time. Defining folly because the pursuit through governments of regulations opposite to their very own interersts, regardless of the supply of possible possible choices, Tuchman info 4 decisive turning issues in historical past that illustrate the very heights of folly in govt: the Trojan conflict, the breakup of the Holy See provoked via the Renaissance Popes, the lack of the yank colonies by means of Britain's George III, and the us' continual folly in Vietnam. THE MARCH OF FOLLY brings the folk, areas, and occasions of historical past magnificently alive for ultra-modern reader.

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Extra resources for The march of folly: from Troy to Vietnam

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Since Huguenots kept only the Sabbath as against more than a hundred saints’ days and holy days kept by the Catholics, they were more productive and more successful in commerce. Their stores and workshops took away business, a consideration that operated behind the Catholic demand for their suppression. The demand was justi ed on the higher ground that religious dissidence was treason to the King and that abolition of freedom of conscience—“this deadly freedom”—would serve the nation as well as serve God.

Rodrigo’s army o ered ine ective resistance and the Moors won control with a force of 12,000. Capturing city after city, they took the capital, established surrogates—in one case handing a city over to the Jews—and moved on. Within seven years their conquest of the peninsula was complete. The Gothic monarchy, having failed to develop a workable principle of government or to achieve fusion with its subjects, collapsed under assault because it had put down no roots. In those dark ages between the fall of Rome and the medieval revival, government had no recognized theory or structure or instrumentality beyond arbitrary force.

In the French, Russian and Chinese revolutions, too much class hatred and bloodshed were involved to allow for fair results or permanent constitutions. For two centuries, the American arrangement has always managed to right itself under pressure without discarding the system and trying another after every crisis, as have Italy and Germany, France and Spain. Under accelerating incompetence in America, this may change. Social systems can survive a good deal of folly when circumstances are historically favorable, or when bungling is cushioned by large resources or absorbed by sheer size as in the United States during its period of expansion.

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