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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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    #1

    Can you help me understand this sentence?

    I don't understand the underlined sentence in the quote below.

    The author is arguing here that the US's Iraqi war has similarities with the four examples of foolish decisions or policies given by Tuchman.
    And... the underlined sentence, "a little patience, etc... might have come a far way"? I don't get what the author is trying to say.

    Barbara W. Tuchman, in her fine book The March of Folly, gives us some leads. She studies Troy in the Battle of Troy, the Renaissance Popes during the Protestant Reformation, England and the American Revolution, and the US in Vietnam, and concludes that their actions were simply foolish.(endnote 3)

    (endnote 3) Visitors today to the ruins of Troy (in Turkey, near the Dardanelles, on the Asian side) will find a model of the famous wooden horse, and can judge for themselves the wisdom of letting such a thing within their walls. In the other three cases, a little patience, flexibility, willingness to listen, and real dialogue might have come a far way. But then we might have had neither economic growth and individualizing democracy as we know them, if we accept that both are related to the worldview of Protestantism, nor the end of the beginning of the US republic, nor the beginning of the end of the US empire.

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    #2

    Re: Can you help me understand this sentence?

    As SoothingDave has mentioned in your previous post, this text on the Iraq war is not very well written. I think you can grasp the meaning of the underlined sentence if you first look up the definitions of the key words like "patience", "flexibility" and "dialogue".
    However, to my mind the final phrase "... might have come a far way" is not idiomatic English for the meaning intended. I believe the writer means "... might have gone a long way" meaning that a little patience, flexibility etc might have had a considerable beneficial effect.
    A similar phrase is "A little kindness goes a long way".

    not a teacher

  2. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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      • Korean
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    #3

    Re: Can you help me understand this sentence?

    oh, your interpretation makes sense! yes, I think that's what the writer(he is norwegian) meant.

    thank you!!

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