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Practicing History: Selected Essays

Practicing History: Selected Essays

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

Preface

Part I - THE CRAFT

Chapter 1 - In Search of History

Chapter 2 - When Does History Happen?

Chapter 3 - History by the Ounce

Chapter 4 - The Historian as Artist

Chapter 5 - The Historians Opportunity

Chapter 6 - Problems in Writing the Biography of General Stilwell

Chapter 7 - The Houses of Research

Chapter 8 - Biography as a Prism of History

Part II - THE YIELD

Chapter 9 - Japan: A Clinical Note

Chapter 10 - Campaign Train

Chapter 11 - What Madrid Reads

Chapter 12 - “Perdicaris Alive or Raisuli Dead”

Chapter 13 - The Final Solution

Chapter 14 - Israel: Land of Unlimited Impossibilities

Chapter 15 - Woodrow Wilson on Freud’s Couch

Chapter 16 - How We Entered World War I

Chapter 17 - Israel’s Swift Sword

Chapter 18 - If Mao Had Come to Washington

Chapter 19 - The Assimilationist Dilemma: Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story

Chapter 20 - Kissinger: Self-Portrait

Chapter 21 - Mankind’s Better Moments

Part III - LEARNING FROM HISTORY

Chapter 22 - Is History a Guide to the Future?

Chapter 23 - Vietnam - WHEN, WHY, AND HOW TO GET OUT

COALITION IN VIETNAM—NOT WORTH ONE MORE LIFE

THE CITIZEN VERSUS THE MILITARY

Chapter 24 - Historical Clues to Present Discontents

Chapter 25 - Generalship

Chapter 26 - Why Policy-Makers Do Not Listen

Chapter 27 - Watergate and the Presidency - SHOULD WE ABOLISH THE PRESIDENCY?

A FEAR OF THE REMEDY

A LETTER TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

DEFUSING THE PRESIDENCY

Chapter 28 - On Our Birthday—America as Idea