Folly on the march

One of the joys of vacation is more time to read (and I write that as a voracious reader in normal times). I’ve had a great time reading Mozart in the Jungle, An Unfinished Season and Slicky Boys (more on those to come), but I’ve just started what looks to be the most meaningful of my Christmas break books.

Barbara Tuchman published The March of Folly in 1984, when the folly of America’s involvement in Vietnam was still fresh. The last third of the book is devoted to Vietnam, after analyses of the Protestant succession and the British loss of America. Tuchman died in 1989, but there will clearly be an equivalent history of folly to be written about our current war in Iraq.

I loved this quote about Philip II of Spain: “No experience of the failure of his policy could shake his belief in its essential excellence.” President Bush, meet Philip II.

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