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Clausewitz's 'On War': A Biography: Books That Changed the World | [Hew Strachan]

Clausewitz's 'On War': A Biography: Books That Changed the World

Perhaps the most important book on military strategy ever written, Carl von Clausewitz's On War has influenced generations of generals and politicians, has been blamed for the unprecedented death tolls, 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. Hew Strachan, one of the world's foremost military historians, answers these problems in this fascinating book.
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Publisher's Summary

Perhaps the most important book on military strategy ever written, Carl von Clausewitz's 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 world's 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.

Listen to more Books That Changed the World.

©2007 Hew Strachan; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

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    Newell Inglewood, CA, USA 01-17-08
    Newell Inglewood, CA, USA 01-17-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Deceptive"

    I wanted to learn from the classic text. This is no more than a history of writing "On War". It should have been titled "On 'On War'" I have no more idea after listening to this as to what Clausewitz's classic thoughts were on war than when I began. Unless you are into a history of when the book was written and potential influences, I give this a big pass.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew Clovis, CA, United States 10-31-11
    Drew Clovis, CA, United States 10-31-11 Member Since 2010
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    "On War"

    I bought this book to hear Clausewtiz's "On War". The author's introduction, history and input on what Clausewitz wrote was great, but I waited in vain to hear what Clausewitz actually wrote. Much of what the author wrote about background issues was very important, but with the background it should have been my job to interpret and evaluate Clausewtiz's words, not just the authors. I was disappointed and hopefully I can find "On War" in it's entiriety so I can make my own decision.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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