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mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 177
Joined: 2020
Practicing History - Barbara Tuchman
11/11/2022 1:04:27 PM

Dear group,

So, found something by eminent American Historian Barbara Tuchman, eye opening in prescience, IMHO.
The essay “How we entered World War I”, originally published New York Times Magazine, May 5, 1967.
I found it in her anthology, “Practicing History”, 1982; p172.

In the last several paragraphs of the essay she discusses the notion of preventative war.
This is the closing paragraph, she describes (predicts??) 55 years of American foreign
policy history IMHO. Still very relevant and very wise to the present day.

“We now see ourselves as if endowed with some mission to organize the world in our image.
Militarily we could knock out Hanoi, and doubtless Peking (1967), too, tomorrow, but we cannot
raise a clean new democracy on nuclear ashes.(Iraq 2003-2011) Whatever our material or political power,
it is not enough for omnipotence. We cannot mold the non-Western world to our desires nor require its
acceptance of our concepts of political freedom and representative government. It is too late in history to
export to the nations of Asia and Africa with unschooled and undernourished populations in the hundreds of
millions the democracy that evolved in the west over a thousand years of slow small-scale experience . . . to the Bill of Rights.
They have not had the time to learn it and history is not going to give them time. Meanwhile we live on the same globe.
The better part of valor is to spend it learning to live with differences, however hostile, unless and until we can find another planet.”
Parentheses added

Her books over 22 years:
Bible and Sword 1956
The Zimmerman Telegram 1958
The Guns of August 1962 - Pulitzer
The Proud Tower 1966
Stillwell and the American Experience in China 1971 – Pulitzer
Notes from China 1972
A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th Century 1978

Not sure of my point but maybe something like
history remains relevant or “if we don’t learn from history . . . ”

Thanks, Mike_C.
mikecmaps

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