Barbara Tuchman was remembered upon her death as the popular historian whose 1962 "The Guns of August" reminded the superpowers of the dangers of diplomatic miscalculation as they teetered on the brink.
The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of 10 books, including the current best seller "The First Salute," died Monday at a hospital in Greenwich after a stroke. She was 77."`The Guns of August' had a tremendous impact on President Kennedy and all who went through the Cuban missile crisis," said William Manchester, author of "The Death of a President" and writer-in-residence at Wesleyan University in Middletown.
Tuchman's latest book, "The First Salute," a look at the American Revolution and the Dutch revolution that preceded it by 200 years, has been on The New York Times best-seller list for more than nine weeks.
She said last fall it would be her last book because of failing eyesight.
Tuchman won the Pulitzer for history for "The Guns of August" in 1962 and "Stilwell and the American Experience in China" in 1971. The latter work was hailed as "brilliant" by America's pre-eminent China scholar, John K. Fairbank of Harvard University.
She also wrote "The Proud Tower," a story of Europe before World War I, and "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century," which traces the tumult of the period by following the career of a feudal lord.
"The Guns of August," which established her reputation, examined how the military buildup in Europe led the Great Powers to bungle their way into World War I.