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Clausewitz's on War: A Biography (Books That Changed the World)

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Clausewitz's on War: A Biography (Books That Changed the World) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"In contributing to a series that aims to publish short, readable books that illuminate long, unreadable ones, historian Strachan (The First World War) takes on the Prussian masterwork On War and emerges victorious, but at great cost. Only the first third of the book can be described as a biography, and that's the most accessible part. Clausewitz (1780 — 1831) rose to major general and fought Napoleon, but never reached the highest command. Appointed head of Prussia's Military Academy in 1818, he spent the rest of his life writing and rewriting his massive work, which remained unfinished and was published posthumously. Few outside the country paid attention until Prussia's astonishing victory over France in 1870. (The first English translation was in 1873). Readers who know Clausewitz's maxim that 'war is politics carried on by other means' will yearn for more insights, and the author provides a few. Though generals often proclaim wars must end in absolute victory, Clausewitz asserted that in the real world annihilating the enemy is rarely possible and often a bad idea. Strachan works hard at defining what Clausewitz meant, comparing various writings, discussing precise meanings of German words, filling in textual gaps and quarreling with other interpretations. Scholars may approve, but even dedicated military buffs will find it hard going. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Perhaps the most important book on military strategy ever written, Carl von Clausewitzs On War has influenced generations of generals and politicians, has been blamed for the unprecedented death tolls in the First and Second World Wars, and is required reading at military academies to this day. But On War , which was never finished and was published posthumously, is obscure and fundamentally contradictory. What Clausewitz declares in book 1, he discounts in book 8. The language is confusing and the relevance not always clear. For a book that has truly changed the world, On War is extremely difficult for the general reader to approach, to reconcile with itself, and to place in context. Hew Strachan, one of the worlds foremost military historians answers these problems in this fascinating book. He explains how and why On War was written, elucidates what Clausewitz meant, and offers insight into the impact it made on conflict and its continued significance in our world today. This is a must read for fans of military history.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780871139566
Author:
Strachan, Hew
Publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
Author:
Strachen
Subject:
Military - Strategy
Subject:
Military Science
Subject:
War
Subject:
Military art and science
Subject:
Military - Other
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Books That Changed the World
Publication Date:
20070710
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5 in 12 oz

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Military » General
» History and Social Science » Military » Strategy Tactics and Deception

Clausewitz's on War: A Biography (Books That Changed the World) Used Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780871139566 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In contributing to a series that aims to publish short, readable books that illuminate long, unreadable ones, historian Strachan (The First World War) takes on the Prussian masterwork On War and emerges victorious, but at great cost. Only the first third of the book can be described as a biography, and that's the most accessible part. Clausewitz (1780 — 1831) rose to major general and fought Napoleon, but never reached the highest command. Appointed head of Prussia's Military Academy in 1818, he spent the rest of his life writing and rewriting his massive work, which remained unfinished and was published posthumously. Few outside the country paid attention until Prussia's astonishing victory over France in 1870. (The first English translation was in 1873). Readers who know Clausewitz's maxim that 'war is politics carried on by other means' will yearn for more insights, and the author provides a few. Though generals often proclaim wars must end in absolute victory, Clausewitz asserted that in the real world annihilating the enemy is rarely possible and often a bad idea. Strachan works hard at defining what Clausewitz meant, comparing various writings, discussing precise meanings of German words, filling in textual gaps and quarreling with other interpretations. Scholars may approve, but even dedicated military buffs will find it hard going. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
Perhaps the most important book on military strategy ever written, Carl von Clausewitzs On War has influenced generations of generals and politicians, has been blamed for the unprecedented death tolls in the First and Second World Wars, and is required reading at military academies to this day. But On War , which was never finished and was published posthumously, is obscure and fundamentally contradictory. What Clausewitz declares in book 1, he discounts in book 8. The language is confusing and the relevance not always clear. For a book that has truly changed the world, On War is extremely difficult for the general reader to approach, to reconcile with itself, and to place in context. Hew Strachan, one of the worlds foremost military historians answers these problems in this fascinating book. He explains how and why On War was written, elucidates what Clausewitz meant, and offers insight into the impact it made on conflict and its continued significance in our world today. This is a must read for fans of military history.
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