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On War (Classics of World Literature) [Abridged] [Paperback]

Carl von Clausewitz , F.N. Maude , Louise Willmot , Tom Griffith , J.J. Graham
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 July 1997 Classics of World Literature
On War is perhaps the greatest book ever written about war. Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian soldier, had witnessed at first hand the immense destructive power of the French Revolutionary armies which swept across Europe between 1792 and 1815. His response was to write a comprehensive text covering every aspect of warfare. On War is both a philosophical and practical work in which Clausewitz defines the essential nature of war, debates the qualities of the great commander, assesses the relative strengths of defensive and offensive warfare, and - in highly controversial passages - considers the relationship between war and politics. His arguments are illustrated with vivid examples drawn from the campaigns of Frederick the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte. For the student of society as well as the military historian, On War remains a compelling and indispensable source.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; Abridged Ed edition (5 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853264822
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853264825
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tough read but worth it 19 Feb 2012
By john
this was a tough read at times as the author often writes in a very dry scientific way that unless you grasp every word he says you can be left at the end of page wonder what the hell he was on about. but most other times you will find yourself slightly nodding at his theories and assessments. On War is a classic work that as been widely read all through the years after its publication and although it was written in a time when warfare was very different to that of today it is still an important read because while the technology and tactics of war may change the basic things of it will always remain such as what it takes to be an effective commander, the importance of logistics and the principles by which all wars are fought. its at times a heavy read but others a joyful one as you lie amazed at the perceptive grasp the author had for the subject and one in which he has examined all areas of from a definition of war to the difference between strategy and tactics so for the officer in training out there or the average armchair general this is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A must for any MBA or Business Degree student.
It was heavily recommended by my entrepreneurship teacher at Trinity College Dublin, part of my MBA program.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concentration needed! 24 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book but you need to be in the mood for it. I'm afraid I went my own way and read a chapter at a time and absorbed that much before returning to the next chapter. I think if some event came up where a military problem was involved, I'd probably take the book out and see what Von Clausewitz offered as an opinion. For students of military matters this is required reading
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
An interesting read. The basis for von Clausewitz' arguments are based very much in abstract theory - and they can be pretty heavy going at times. Also this book really only makes sense in its historical context - i.e. in the absence of flight and mobile warfare as options. Although some of the theory can be applied in a modern context, it doesn't always make sense to do so. Nevertheless, its a stimulating read, for those who have a deep military/historical background, and a lot of time on their hands.
Also, the translators/editors point out that the author did not finish his work, and by his own writings, was unhappy with it as it stood.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War is merely continuation of politics 17 Dec 2009
By Jack
I had no choice but give five stars. Reading this book made me realise how close current western philosophy is to Clausewitz military theories. Apparently, one thinks how it shapes today's world and what new theories we can look into to change world's thought process. We still follow old philosophies when it comes to governance.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Global Theory of Warfare 15 Aug 2011
It is an extensive work, since it fits with the epoch, in which writing little was a sign of inconsistency, little importance and scanty reflection. The books or parts that compose it were finished in variable degree by the author, whose premature death did not allow its conclusion. I am more interested in the first chapters on "the theory and the philosophy of the war".
The other books or parts treat on the tactics of a period in which the enemy deployment was staying at the sights of the enemy command and his HHQQ and auxiliary, placed in a nearby height.
He praises Liddell Hart's opposite strategy: a decisive battle using the maximum own concentration and power on the enemy army.

In an age of masses armies, inaugurated by Napoleon (also called "the nation at arms"), soon was clear that it was not possible to win a war between full armed nations, in an alone great battle.
It was necessary a campaign with successive victorious operations, looking for the achievement of the military goals of the campaign (theatre of operations, Europe, Pacific Ocean, Africa) or the strategy. In addition, already there did not exist a genius advanced to his epoch as Napoleon.
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