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A Distant Mirror:  The Calamitous 14th Century A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman
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A Distant Mirror Quotes (showing 1-14 of 14)
“When the gap between ideal and real becomes too wide, the system breaks down.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“Human beings of any age need to approve of themselves; the bad times in history come when they cannot.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“For belligerent purposes, the 14th century, like the 20th, commanded a technology more sophisticated than the mental and moral capacity that guided its use.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“Vainglory, however, no matter how much medieval Christianity insisted it was a sin, is a motor of mankind, no more eradicable than sex.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“[T]he obverse of facile emotion in the 14th century was a general insensitivity to the spectacle of pain and death.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“An event of great agony is bearable only in the belief that it will bring about a better world. When it does not, as in the aftermath of another vast calamity in 1914-18, disillusion is deep and moves on to self-doubt and self-disgust.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“In individuals as in nations, contentment is silent, which tends to unbalance the historical record.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“History was finite and contained within comprehensible limits. It began with the Creation and was scheduled to end in a not indefinitely remote future with the Second Coming, which was the hope of afflicted mankind, followed by the Day of Judgment. Within that span, man was not subject to social or moral progress because his goal was the next world, not betterment in this. In this world he was assigned to ceaseless struggle against himself in which he might attain individual progress and even victory, but collective betterment would only come in the final union with God.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“If there have been mute inglorious Miltons in rural villages, presumably there have been unrealized Washingtons born in unpropitious times.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“Disaster is rarely as pervasive as it seems from recorded accounts. The fact of being on the record makes it appear continuous and ubiquitous whereas it is more likely to have been sporadic both in time and place. Besides, persistence of the normal is usually greater than the effect of the disturbance, as we know from our own times. After absorbing the news of today, one expects to face a world consisting entirely of strikes, crimes, power failures, broken water mains, stalled trains, school shutdowns, muggers, drug addicts, neo-Nazis, and rapists. The fact is that one can come home in the evening--on a lucky day--without having encountered more than one or two of these phenomena. This has led me to formulate Tuchman's Law, as follows: "The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold" (or any figure the reader would care to supply).”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“Philip was fascinated by the all-absorbing question of the Beatific Vision: whether the souls of the blessed see the face of God immediately upon entering Heaven or whether they have to wait until the Day of Judgment.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“reproaches himself for recoiling from the stench of the poor and the sick,”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
“Despised as ineffective, they were ineffective because they were despised.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

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