Barbara W. Tuchman Quotes

Enjoy the top 283 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Barbara W. Tuchman.

Barbara W. Tuchman Quotes

In a long and fiercely argued process, against the strenuous resistance of the peers, he ordered the Sire de Coucy to stand trial. Enguerrand IV was convicted, and although the King intended a death sentence, he was persuaded by the peers to forgo it. Enguerrand was sentenced to pay a fine of 12,000 livres, to be used partly to endow masses in perpetuity for the souls of the men he had hanged, and partly to be sent to Acre to aid in the defense of the Holy Land. Legal history was made and later cited as a factor in the canonization of the King.
— Barbara W. Tuchman —

Of the two classes of Prussian officer, the bull-necked and the wasp-waisted, he belonged to the second. Monocled and effete in appearance, cold and distant in manner, he concentrated with such single-mindedness on his profession that when an aide, at the end of an all-night staff ride in East Prussia, pointed out to him the beauty of the river Pregel sparkling in the rising sun, the General gave a brief, hard look and replied, 'An unimportant obstacle.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

Disaster is rarely as pervasive as it seems from recorded accounts. The fact of being on the record makes it appear continuous and ubiquitous whereas it is more likely to have been sporadic both in time and place. Besides, persistence of the normal is usually greater than the effect of the disturbance, as we know from our own times. After absorbing the news of today, one expects to face a world consisting entirely of strikes, crimes, power failures, broken water mains, stalled trains, school shutdowns, muggers, drug addicts, neo-Nazis, and rapists. The fact is that one can come home in the evening
on a lucky day
without having encountered more than one or two of these phenomena. This has led me to formulate Tuchman's Law, as follows: "The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold" (or any figure the reader would care to supply).

— Barbara W. Tuchman

The reality of a question is inevitably more complicated than we would like to suppose.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

To think meant to give room for freedom of initiative, for the imponderable to win over the material, for will to demonstrate its power over circumstance.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

The story and study of the past, both recent and distant, will not reveal the future, but it flashes beacon lights along the way and it is a useful nostrum against despair.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

In addition to grand estate, Coucy clearly possessed a personal power of attraction and a faculty for not making enemies.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

He had become, through a combination of heritage and character, a keeper of the national conscience.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

Something in me broke and I was never the same thereafter.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

Belgium's declared intention to fight was, the Germans believed, no more than the "rage of dreaming sheep"-in the words a Prussian statesman once applied to his domestic opponents.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

He believed that rank without power was a sham.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

What other country has had the privilege of making the world's heart beat faster?

— Barbara W. Tuchman

Wicked ecclesiastics who show the worst example to the people," and, above all, nobles who empty the purses of the poor by their extravagance, and disdain them for "lowness of blod or foulenesse of body," for deformed shape of body or limb, for dullness of wit and uncunning of craft, and deign not to speak to them, and who are themselves stuffed with pride-of ancestry, fortune, gentility, possessions, power, comeliness, strength, children, treasure-"prowde in lokynge, prowde in spekyng, ...  prowde in goinge, standynge and sytting." All would be drawn by fiends to Hell on the Day of Judgment.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

Society's revenge matched its fright.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

The fact-finding mission was now the traditional Washington substitute for policy.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

Barbara W. Tuchman Quotes Pictures

Want to see more pictures of Barbara W. Tuchman quotes? Click on image of Barbara W. Tuchman quotes to view full size.

Barbara W. Tuchman Quotes Pictures 1
Barbara W. Tuchman Quotes Pictures 2
Barbara W. Tuchman Quotes Pictures 3
Barbara W. Tuchman Quotes Pictures 4