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On War: A Modern Military Classic Hardcover – 11 May 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Wilder Publications (11 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604593571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604593570
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,241,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'American Culture Transformed offers an interesting sampling of the cultural landscape in America after 9/11. The authors provide compelling snapshots of iconic moments and figures from the military, economics, the arts, and politics. The book will stir memories and make us uncomfortable again.'
- Mary Poovey, New York University, USA
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Book Description

An in-depth analysis of the transformation of major American cultural icons in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001 --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Nigel on 30 Mar 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This edition only includes Books I-IV of 'On War,' just half the book, and the 'active' table of contents only extends to the introduction. Look elsewhere.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Cpt Callum on 23 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback
This Penguin Edition of On War should be avoided at all costs. This is a weirdly edited and seriously misleading edition, put together by Anatol Rapoport in 1968. Rapoport was a biologist and musician--indeed, he was something of a renaissance man and later made some interesting contributions to game theory. However, he was outraged by the Vietnam War and extremely hostile to the state system and to the alleged "neo-Clausewitzian," Henry Kissinger. He severely and misleadingly abridged Clausewitz's own writings, partly, of course, for reasons of space in a small paperback. Nonetheless--for reasons that surpasseth understanding--he retained Maude's extraneous introduction, commentary, and notes, then used Maude's errors to condemn Clausewitzian theory. Between Graham's awkward and obsolete translation, Maude's sometimes bizarre intrusions, and Rapoport's hostility (aimed more at the world in general, and at Kissinger in particular, than at Clausewitz personally), the Penguin edition is badly misleading as to Clausewitz's own ideas. The influential modern military journalist/historian John Keegan apparently derives much of his otherwise unique misunderstanding of Clausewitz from Rapoport's long, hostile introduction--necessarily so, since he has obviously never read Clausewitz's own writings, not even the rest of the text of this strange edition. I would recommend the Graham or Graham/Maude translation. I if you do own this twisted Penguin version put it in a glass case, get it bronzed, or burn it--but READ something else.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Packham on 26 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its Clausewitz what can I say the most influential book in western military thought and is still taught in staff colleges across the world.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on 4 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
'War is merely the continuation of policy by other means' too often this is quoted too often out of context misunderstood. War is not separate of politics war is indeed a part of politics, it is politics 'With' other means. This is the essence of Clausewitz's insight into the nature of warfare and war making, policy makers today really do not understand this any more and neither do the armed forces command hirearchy. Having fed upon the fashionable mantras, pc rhetoric, ideas which have eminated out of academia having a detrimental impact, ideas such as RMA, Transformations of war, the so called humanitarian interventions, far too much uncritical acceptance of these fashionable misdirected mantras, taken from programs of naive and arrogant academic misinformed research with no understanding of the nature of warfare, all extorted from academics the likes of Kaldor and Van Creveld in their myopic Ivory Towers of failure. Indeed the abandonment of Clausewitz is one of primary and functionary reasons why Western military forces can no longer fight to win, all they are able to do is fight to save the political face of their political masters. The armed forces today as with politicians and so called experts in the field do see politics and war as separate entities, something they believe can be switched on and switched off at will. Well it can't be done, both are one you can't have one without the other, failing to grasp this fundamental dooms your military effort to failure, as our military failure in Iraq and Afghanistan clearly show. War and politics are interlinked it is dynamic process which can not by its very nature be separated, you can not have a military operation separate from politics, the very essence of the war is political in its nature from start to completion.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 88 reviews
147 of 152 people found the following review helpful
The Classic on war 15 May 2000
By seydlitz89 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is not an easy book to understand. It takes sustained attention, several readings of the most important parts, guidance from supplementary articles, time and interest. After the required investment, the diligent reader will come to understand Clausewitz's system and the remarkable way that it stills aides in understanding the phenomenon of war. Readers who know of what I speak will agree that the results of the recent NATO war against Serbia over Kosova can be explained very accurately in Clausewitzian terms. Much has been made of the fact that Clausewitz died before he could complete the work. We will never know what added insights the Prussian philosopher may have been able to come up with or the additional nuances that he may have added to the framework that he had established. While true, this attitude detracts from what he was able to accomplish. The only finished portion of the book, Part 1 of Book 1 is also the most important. The rest of Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 and Book 8 (the last) are in Bernard Brodie's words, "pure gold". The other books have relevant information for our times too, but one must shift through much which belongs to the past. Clausewitz's theory of war considered war to be "a remarkable trinity" of rational action (policy), irrational action (passion) and the play of chance (friction versus genius). These three points act as poles above which "theory" itself is suspended like a magnet. Alan D. Beyerchen has pointed out that Clausewitz was talking about a non-linear system in that the course the magnet will take as it hovers above and in and out of the three fields of attraction produces an irreproducible trajectory highly sensitive to the initial conditions which set it in motion. In addition we have other important concepts such as the duel nature of war, the importance and uses of theory, friction, war's psychological element, tactical and strategic centers of gravity, and of course the primacy of policy over purely military concerns in strategic planning. All of these are still of interest today. Not bad for a work that was published initially in 1832!
One additional note. I recommend the Everyman's Library Edition of On War. First it is the Michael Howard / Peter Paret translation which is the best in English. Second it contains four interesting and enlightening articles by Howard, Paret and Bernard Brodie and last it is a hard cover book printed and bound in Germany and of excellent quality.
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Incomplete text 14 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A word of caution to anyone ordering the paperback edition of this work. It is incomplete with some of the books missing. If you are genuinely interested in strategy, buy the hardcover Everyman's edition rather than the Penguin edition.
98 of 105 people found the following review helpful
The wrong translation 26 April 2001
By Edward J. Hynes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
On War is an essential work but this is an abridgement first published in the late 1960s and based on a poor translation dating from around 1908. The editor, Anatol Rapoport, is a scientist, not an historian, and the commentary is something of a hatchet job.
Much better to get the 1976 translation with commentary edited by Michael Howard and Peter Paret.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Not the best edition, but THE best book on war 13 Aug 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Carl von Clausewitz is required reading at the War Colleges of the United States Armed Forces because his precepts are timeless. Trying to understand why man makes war, especially in the extremely destructive era in which he lived, he explores all aspects of warfare. This work is written for military officers, and exemplifies the aphorism of a classic: it's a book people want to have read, but don't want to read. This antipathy is understandable. Clausewitz was a staff officer in the army of a state which no longer exists, and he wrote in 19th century German. Still, this book is essential to all who wish to understand war and its place in statecraft.
Rather than this Penguin edition, I recommend the Princeton University Press edition, translated and edited by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. That version includes very helpful essays and introductions by those two academics, as well as Bernard Brodie. Together, these three help the reader understand what Clausewitz was writing, and gently remind the reader that he should be somewhat forgiving of the author. After all, he had only just begun a major renovation of his entire work when he was felled by the cholera epidemic that struck Europe.
If you are interested in Clausewitz, READ HIM. Do not join the illiterati who quote and misquote him without ever reading On War. While it is not an easy read, the Princeton University edition is readable, and On War is the most important book on the most serious of political subjects.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
By Nicholas J. Bertollo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
On War is an incredible work, but the Penguin Classics edition is terrible - the translation was done by an editor who was openly hostile to Clausewitz, something to do with Kissinger (whom our editor detested) being a Clausewitz fan. There are entire sections that are specifically translated in ways that make Clausewitz look bad, and edits to the same effect.

I highly suggest that you read this book - but read the Everyman's or Princeton version - those editions have the Peter Paret translation and are far superior in every way. The Everyman's edition in particular is fantastic - hardcover, elegant, and only a few dollars more than Penguin's steaming pile of excrement.
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