Historians’ Erotic IntensitynBarbara Tuchman: Practicing History;nAlfred A. Knopf; New York.nLawrence Stone: The Past and the Present;nRoutledge and Kegan Paul ofnAmerica; Boston.nby Paul GottfriednWne is reminded, in reading BarbaranTuchman’s essays, of that reproach oncenhurled against the French royal family:n”The Bourbons neither learn nor forgetnanything.” Like the Bourbons as depictednby their enemies, Mrs. Tuchmannlives with hostilides and fixations whichnthe years have not erased. As one surveysnher essais de circonstances, the fruits ofnforty years of work, it is obvious that hernphobias have grown stronger with age.nShe reminds one of the unfortunate examplenof Charles Maurras, another Teutonophobenwho, like Tuchman, combinedncrankiness wlthfacilite de paroles.nAge did not mellow Maurras; instead,nthe infirmities of his later years, particularlynhis deafness, caused him to rage allnthe more against Germans, Protestants,nMasons and, above all, Jews.nMrs. Tuchman, too, is given to raging,nand though she has managed to write decentnpopular history, she has done so innspite of her glaring, even grotesque, prejudices.nA quintessential New York Jewishnliberal, she shows the virtues and vicesnoften associated with this identity. She isnliterate, widely traveled, and considersnherself morally sensitive. She also seemsnto have taken over, perhaps unreflectively,nthe political eccentricities peculiarnto her culture. She hates Germans andnanticommunists with an almost eroticnintensity.nTo be fair to Mrs. Tuchman, we mustnadmit that one can understand how anJewish writer (especially one of German-nJewish descent) might express bitternessnDr. Gottfried is afrequent contributor tonthe Chronicles.nmnChronicles of Ctiltttrenabout German national policies undernthe nazi regime. Less understandable isnTuchman’s apparent unwillingness tongrant distinctions between nazi and prenazinGerman political behavior. Her intemperatenattack on Imperial Germanynprovides a case in point. It exemplifiesnher view of the German people as a nationnof moral pygmies led by a series ofnpsychopaths, some of whom unleashednthe First World War out of sadistic,nmilitaristic motives. One might note thatnTuchman expresses no comparable revulsionnfor the Russian people on thenbasis of Stalinist tyranny. Nowhere in hernstudy of German and Allied annexationistngoals— Fischer and Geiss, unlikenTuchman, move the historical discussionnbeyond Teutonophobic hysteria.n1 uchman points indignantly at theninscription carved on tombstones in anBelgian cemetery, “fusilles par lesnAllemands, ” without inquiring as to thencircumstances surrounding the deaths innquestion. Were these Belgians passivenvictims of German brutality—or werenthey snipers and guerrillas who had beennfiring at German soldiers? Nor doesnTuchman note that the Belgians wouldn”The salient literary quality of [Tuchman’s] 33 essays, speeches, and occasional columnsnis their high-buffed charm.”n— The New Republicnbook does one find remarks about anyncommunist dictator as vitriolic as thenones applied to Kaiser Wilhelm. Hernliberal mentality may be responsible fornher lopsided moral judgments. Shendeplores the fact that America stayed outnof the struggle against Imperial Germanynuntil 1917, but she repeatedlynascribes our bad relations with totalitariannRussia to our stubborn intolerance ofnpolitical diversity.nHer essay on the Great War seeks tonresurrect the dry bones of Allied warnpropaganda. She evokes scenes of thenKaiser’s robots massacring Belgian villages,nshooting the “humanitarian”nnurse Edith Cavell and sinking the Lusitanianand other nonmilitary vessels.nTuchman fails to cite the most recentnhistoriography that might lend aedencento her diatribe. The German historians,nFritz Fischer and Immanuel Geiss, havenexpounded on the annexationist designsnof Imperial Germany, which they considernsignificant for the outbreak andncourse of the war. Although their argumentsnare deficient—e.g. they assumenan undemonstrated continuity betweennprewar German foreign policies and wartimenaims and shun any comparativennnnot have been forced to resist the Germansnin 1914 if they had willingly allowednthem to pass through their countrynwhen war broke out between Germanynand France. By refusing this requestnwhen the Germans were in desperatenmilitary straits, the Belgians invited thenensuing retribution. Moreover, the British,nin their military conversations withnthe French in 1909, had planned theirnown occupation of Belgium in the eventnof a war with Germany. Neither the Germansnin action nor the British by intentnshowed due respect for Belgian nationalnindependence. But both sides were properlynenvisaging a life-and-death stmgglenagainst the enemy.nTuchman never mentions that thenGermans had reason to suspect EdithnCavell of spying for the Allies. Althoughntheir behavior toward her was ungallantnto say the least, the same charge could benleveled at the Allies, with equal justification,nfor dispatching Mata Hari. Tuchmannurges us to “Remember the Lusitania,”nbut she also reminds us that thenship was carrying contraband arms tonEngland at the time of the German attack.nHer treatment of German submarinenwarfare is generally skewed. Shen