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On War Paperback – March 28, 2006
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From the Back Cover
The growing interest in Clausewitz's theoretical, political and historical writings in recent years suggested that the time had come for an entirely new translation. We have based our work on the first edition of 1832, supplemented by the annotated German text published by Professor Werner Hahlweg in 1952, except where obscurities in the original edition-which Clausewitz himself never reviewed-made it seem advisable to accept later emendations. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
General Carl Von Clausewitz (1780-1831) is undoubt- edly one of the most important military theorists in history. His exhaustive examination and analysis of the Napoleonic wars are based on his long military career and direct participation in events." The Russian Campaign of 1812" is an essential volume on this turning point in European history.
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Top Customer Reviews
His central point is that war is an instrument of policy. As a result, there is no purely military problem. The commander needs to understand the political goals and act accordingly. When the process fails it's because the policy itself was bad, not because of politicians interfering in "purely military matters".
It can get a bit humorous when Clausewitz talks about armchair generals. He dismisses them as useless pedants, deriding them for coming up with an excess of useless rules and concocting impractical schemes. Clausewitz points out that there is a lot of "friction" in war, when issuing orders and moving men around, that non-soldiers seldom appreciate. More to the point, he emphasizes the role of the commander's judgment in dealing with the specifics of a situation.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in military matters. With that said, don't dive into it blindly. Clausewitz draws heavily on examples from the campaigns of Frederick the Great and Napoleon. Familiarize yourself with the Seven Years' War and the Napoleonic Wars before picking this up. A brief overview of the wars between the Grand Alliance and Louis XIV wouldn't hurt either.
I thought it was a little strange when I opened it and found it was printed in that same small-print Courier font as say a text file prints in.
Then I looked at the top, and each page had a heading of "On War.txt"
This edition of this book is literally a text file of On War dumped to a cheap printer, with no formatting, no editing, and it being painfully obvious that they didn't review it at all before hitting print.
I'm now looking for a better edition to replace this one.