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Barbara W. Tuchman Hardcover – January 1, 1978


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Hardcover, January 1, 1978
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (1978)
  • ASIN: B001ACME2E
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #791,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 30, 2012
Barbara Wertheim Tuchman (1912-1989) was an American historian and author; she won the Pulitzer Prize for her book The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I.

She wrote in the Foreword to this 1978 book, "The genesis of this book was a desire to find out what were the effects on society of the most lethal disaster of recorded history... the Black Death of 1348-1350, which killed an estimated one third of the population living between India and Iceland... Although my initial question has escaped an answer... it is reassuring to know that the human species has lived through worse before." (Pg. xiii)

She observes early in the book, "That conflict between the reach for the divine and the lure of earthly things was to be the central problem of the Middle Ages." (Pg. 6) She adds, "The Church gave ceremony and dignity to lives that had little of either. It was the source of beauty and art to which all had some access and which many helped to create... (and) gave pride to the lowest and could make the least man an artist." (Pg. 35)

She states, "Survivors of the plague, finding themselves neither destroyed nor improved, could discover no Divine purpose in the pain they had suffered. God's purposes were usually mysterious, but this scourge had been too terrible to be accepted without questioning... Minds that opened to admit these questions could never again be shut." (Pg. 123)

She suggests that the Code of Chivalry was "an ideal, as Christianity was an ideal, toward which man's reach, as usual, exceeded his grasp." (Pg.
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I loved this book! It documents the brutal truth of he medieval period some of us only imagined. It is a European history book.
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