Practicing History: Selected Essays and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Practicing History: Selected Essays Paperback – August 12, 1982

ISBN-13: 978-0345303639 ISBN-10: 0345303636
Buy used
$4.00
Buy new
$14.91
Used & new from other sellers Delivery options vary per offer
190 used & new from $0.01
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, August 12, 1982
"Please retry"
$14.91
$6.16 $0.01
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Hero Quick Promo
Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now
$14.91 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Practicing History: Selected Essays + The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam + Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour
Price for all three: $44.60

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

From the Inside Flap

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. Here is a splendid body of work, the story of a lifetime spent "practicing history."
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (August 12, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345303636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345303639
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #672,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#64 in Books > History
#64 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By John P. Rooney on September 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Practicing History", by Barbara W. Tuchman, sub-titled "Selected Essays". Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, 1981.
This book is a collection of essays written by the noted Historian, Barbara W. Tuchman (e.g. "The Guns of August"), over the course of her long career. In my humble opinion, for the novice historian, the most interesting essays are, "The Historian as Artist" (pages 45-50), "The Historian's Opportunity", (pages 51-64). In these two essays, Ms. Tuchman challenges the budding historian to not only collect facts, dates and events, but rather to write History so the end product is as engaging as modern novel, BUT, based upon excellent scholarship. Ms. Tuchman is a proponent of "narrative" History, where the facts "...require arrangement, composition planning just like a painting - Rembrandt's 'Night Watch`" (page 49). These two essays would enhance any course in Historiography.
Some of her remaining essays are a bit dated, but provide keen insight into the times, as in Tuchman's "Japan: A Clinical Note", (pages 93-97). Her essays on Israel tend to be a bit chauvinistic, in the sense that the author's objectivity slips and she can find very little wrong with the budding Jewish state in what was once Palestine. The essay, "Perdicaris Alive or Rasuli Dead" (pages 104-117), is very entertaining, particularly if you are interested in New York's Teddy Roosevelt. All in all, the first section of this book, (called "The Craft"), includes essays that should be required reading for a student beginning graduate work in History.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
These essays allow the reader to enjoy Barbara Tuchman's incisive historical analysis and sharp wit in small doses. Most of the essays were written in the 1950s or 1960s or even earlier, but they are still fresh and pointed. Reading Tuchman is like listening to your favorite history professor. She'll tell a dramatic story and finish up with some wry observations that will keep you thinking long after.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
Although a collection of essays the coherence of her work is commendable.No one can read history in the same light after reading her book.Ms.Tuchman is truly a master who weaves a web around her readers. The canvas of her book is stupendous and her grasp is awesome covering ancient Greece to modern times. Truly remarkable. (Naushad Shafkat)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David E. Thomas on April 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This should be compulsory reading for everybody in positions of power and influence. The essays may have passed into history, but their verities remain. The anguish caused by political and commercial stupidity and its by-product of war would be lessened if power brokers learnt from history. War is folly, as this great historian wrote many years ago. Will people ever learn? I cannot use the word 'humanity' when I think of what we do to others.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on September 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Somewhat dated, perhaps. But, Mrs. Tuchman's insights in "Practicing History" are timeless in key points on the myth of objectivity and keeping the historical context of events in view. In our day, history seems dependent on the historian's political slant with few exceptions and Mrs. Tuchman speaks to that trend years before it became so obvious. Her words also speak to the growth of the post-world war one cynicism that seems as prevalent (perhaps more so) a century later. So-called "professionals" of all fields are sometimes easily offended or threatened by what Mrs. Tuchman calls "independent" communicators in their field. Attempting to dismiss or marginalize the independent/amateur is not a response to the issues they raise. Only an independent could have written this book and challenged the "professional" establishment. And few independents have the credentials to do so as Mrs. Tuchman has.

This book is ideal for communicators in the field of history and historical fiction. Whether one agrees with her or not, dismissing Mrs. Tuchman is no option for the serious historian - professional or independent.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T. E Sheller on August 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I love the feeling that I'm picking the brain of BWT. Her methods of writing and observations are worthwhile for a lifetime. The humility the author has toward fact gathering benefits all her readers. This collection is first a delight to any fan of the woman herself, and second a tool for learning about good history writing. A bonus third point is for history novices like me- a crash course on several topics of interest. A "crash course" from Barbara Tuchman is possibly an experience of the most concise, informative and comprehensive summary on a subject you'll find.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By REM on July 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like most essay collections, there are those in "Practicing History" that don't interest an individual reader and some that they value. I found that the ones I learned from and, or enjoyed in this book definitely outnumbered the former. Ms. Tuchman's essays on the value of history to one who studies it and ones on the responsibilities of the historian are worth reading and rereading. The lessons she finds in her study of disastrous governmental and diplomatic blunders, often deliberate and self-serving, are valuable lessons, but I think her understandable anger about these blunders in Vietnam and WW II China are repeated too often in multiple essays. I must say that Ms. Tuchman, with her deep study of these fiascos and the understanding of the terrible consequences of them has every reason to be furious. I just got tired of reading about them. I recommend reading "Practicing History" , "The Proud Tower", and "Guns of August". Likely the rest after I read them myself.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Practicing History: Selected Essays
This item: Practicing History: Selected Essays
Price: $14.91
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?