Literary Birthday – 30 January – Barbara Tuchman

Barbara Tuchman was born 30 January 1912, and died 6 February 1989.

Nine Quotes

  1. Books are humanity in print.
  2. Books are the carriers of civilisation. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.
  3. Arguments can always be found to turn desire into policy.
  4. I want the reader to turn the page and keep on turning until the end. This is accomplished only when the narrative moves steadily ahead, not when it comes to a weary standstill, overloaded with every item uncovered in the research.
  5. To a historian libraries are food, shelter, and even muse.
  6. Historians who stuff in every item of research they have found, every shoelace and telephone call of a biographical subject, are not doing the hard work of selecting and shaping a readable story.
  7. What his imagination is to the poet, facts are to the historian.
  8. I have always felt like an artist when I work on a book. I see no reason why the word should always be confined to writers of fiction and poetry.
  9. The writer’s object is—or should be—to hold the reader’s attention.

Barbara Tuchman was an American historian and author. She was known for writing The Guns of August (later August 1914), a best-selling history of the prelude to and the first month of World War I, which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1963. Tuchman focused on writing popular history.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 30th January 2013