a history of quiet positive work

Discussion in 'English Only' started by serhatuygur, Jan 11, 2019 at 10:07 PM.

  1. serhatuygur

    serhatuygur Senior Member

    Turkish
    Hello, I'm having some difficulty with meaning of the sentence below. Does the "positive work" refer to the doings of the General Staff? I'm kinda confused because the author seems to criticise it (General Staff) in his subsequent words. Or does he say that such work about the history of General Staff would be a positive/useful (book). Thank you for your help.

    "Seeckt himself not only recalled the past but foreshadowed the future when he wrote — “A history of the General Staff...would be a history of quiet positive work; it would tell of arrogance and haughty acquiescence, of vanity and envy, of all human weaknesses, of the fight between genius and bureaucracy, and of the hidden causes of victory and defeat."

    Source: The German Generals Talk by Liddell Hart.
     
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    Yes, one would assume that this refers to the overall work of the Staff or at least of some of its members.
     
  3. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    The second part of that sentence presumably refers to the individual members of the staff, who despite their differences produced positive results.
     
  4. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    I read the original and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    history of the General Staff...would be a history of quiet positive work; it would tell of arrogance and haughty acquiescence

    Those three dots are in the original. It might make more sense if we knew what those three dots have hidden. As it stands, I think it needs a connector to make it flow.

    history of the General Staff...would be a history of quiet positive work; but it would also tell of arrogance and haughty acquiescence
     

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