Barbara Tuchman Biography
(1912–89), The Lost British Policy, The Bible and the Sword, The Zimmermann Telegram
American historian, born in New York, educated at Radcliffe College, Harvard. Before 1962 she published under her maiden name of Barbara Wertheim. Her earlier works include The Lost British Policy (1938), on relations between Britain and Spain since 1700, and The Bible and the Sword (1956), a study of British involvement in the formation of the state of Israel. She attracted a wide readership with the compelling narrative style and diligent research of The Zimmermann Telegram (1958), an account of communications between Germany and Mexico which were instrumental in bringing the USA into the First World War. The Guns of August (1962; Pulitzer Prize) deals with the opening weeks of the First World War, while The Proud Tower (1965) surveys the decades preceding the conflict. Parallels between the remote past and recent history are drawn in A Distant Mirror (1978), a study of the upheavals of fourteenth-century Europe, and The March of Folly (1984), an investigation of political error from the siege of Troy to the Vietnam War. Tuchman's other works include Stilwell and the American Experience in China (1971), an account of an American military officer's activities in China from 1911 to 1945, for which she received a further Pulitzer Prize; The First Salute (1989), on the American War of Independence; and the essays of Practicing History (1981).