Barbara W. Tuchman

Barbara W. Tuchman (January 30, 1912 - February 6, 1989) was an historian and author. She wrote literally popular history, selling millions of copies. Her clear, dramatic storytelling gave her surveys of the 14th century, World War I and the Fin De Siecle, the last being the interest of a novel of hers.

A homemaker writing in her own home, Tuchman was an unlikely author of books that continue to be more popular than the classics of the field. Inventing the Middle Ages by Norman Cantor, a history of medieval historians, describes her context or lack there of.

Her works include:

  • A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, an overview of 14th Century medieval Europe. A good place to start.
  • The Guns of August covers the breaking out of World War I. The book that established her reputation.
  • The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914. Covers the hesitant rise of U.S. imperialism, anarchist assassinations, socialism and communism and the devolution of the 19th century order in Europe and North America.
  • Stilwell and the American Experience in China: a biography of Joseph Stilwell.
  • The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution.
  • The Zimmermann Telegram: The key incident that provoked the USA into entering World War I
  • The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam: A meditation on unwisdom (as distinct from stupidity) as a force in history.

She won twice the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.

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