• Clausewitz's 'On War'

  • A Biography: Books That Changed the World
  • By: Hew Strachan
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-10-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

Regular price: $17.49

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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.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Newell
  • Inglewood, CA, USA
  • 01-17-08

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.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected

I bought this thinking it was the actual On War by Clausewitz and I like Simon Vance's narration.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This is NOT Von Clausewitz's work....

...but rather, a biological review of that work and a general overview of the period and the man. I felt deceived by the realization of this, since the author's choice of title, the cover, and the description provided by Audible gives no real indication of this. Rightly, this book should have been called "ON VON CLAUSEWITZ: An In-depth Investigation of His Classic On War"

If you are hoping to hear an abridged version of the classic treatise, this is not it. It is not a bad book, but if you have not read some translation of Von Clausewitz's On War previously, then this book is wholly unrelatable and confusing, since it's more of a study guide or review of it rather than a discussion of its ideas. Many years ago, I read some of "On War", and was still only loosely aware of much of what us referenced here.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read

If you could sum up Clausewitz's 'On War' in three words, what would they be?

Hew Strachan is amazing. Read everything he writes. This is a must read for every member of the military or state department.