Writers with varying views on these fundamental matters inevitably interpret Clausewitz in varying ways—especially when they deal only with isolated"tions (or rumors of"tions) frather than wrestle comprehensively with Clausewitz's overall treatment of the problem. On the other hand, much of the controversy over Clausewitz reflects the pedestrian fact that he was a german soldier and military thinker. His writings accept the existence of political violence as inevitable—a view that any honest examination of human evolution and history must sustain. Nonetheless, in the wake of German wars of aggression in the 20th century, that background is inherently suspicious to many people. So is the fact that Clausewitz's theories were adapted in various ways by hitler and by marxists like engels, lenin, and mao. Clausewitz's reputation has also been clouded by British and French propaganda written during the world Wars, writings that sought to draw a straight line from the aggressions of Frederick the Great, through Clausewitz, to hitler. More confusion has been generated by the distortions or honest misunderstandings of would-be competitors, most notably. Liddell Hart from the 1920s to 1970 and Martin van Creveld today, and by the sheer ignorance of pop-historians like john keegan.
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One of the best introductions both to nonlinearity and homework to Clausewitz is by historian Alan. Beyerchen: Clausewitz, nonlinearity and the Unpredictability of War, international summary Security, 17:3 (Winter, 1992). Many writers unfamiliar with Clausewitz's actual purpose and meaning are repulsed by his famous line that "war is merely the continuation of policy by other means." Part of the problem is that this is neither the best translation of the original wording nor On War. Critics also argue (quite correctly, for both ethical and practical reasons) that war should not be seen as just another routine tool for politicians—but Clausewitz would have agreed with that argument in practical terms, for he saw war as a very risky and uncertain instrument. They also object to his rejection of moderation in war as an essential element of war itself (and fail to note his explanation as to why moderation is nonetheless and necessarily pursued by civilized societies as a matter of practical policy). The claim is frequently made (especially by British historians) that Clausewitz's ideas "caused" the disasters of World War. An actual look at the evidence (a rare undertaking) indicates that this view is quite false—at best, simplistic to the point of meaninglessness. Much of the disagreement over On War, however, reflects fundamental issues that Clausewitz did not address in any detail. That is, On War is a book that, for all its length, attempts to focus narrowly on the practical problems of conducting military operations in war—it does not attempt to describe the character of the physical universe or the nature of man, nor to define. It is simply a mark of the book's profundity that discussion of it inevitably raises all of these issues.
These difficulties compound older problems rooted in the fact that On War is based on a set of unfinished drafts written over a long period of Clausewitz's dynamic intellectual evolution. These various drafts were assembled into a finished book by his wife marie after with his untimely death. Beyond these sources of difficulty, clausewitz's world-view is hard to understand without some grasp of the historical period in which he worked and the cultural currents of his milieu. Perhaps even more fundamentally, clausewitz's internal model of reality is baffling to many minds. He was an eminently scientific thinker, but his understanding of cause-and-effect relationships in real-world events seems odd, idiosyncratic, or even "mystical" to readers reared in the linear science and mathematics of the pre-computer era. Clausewitz's world-view is not at all surprising, however, to those familiar with science and mathematics as they have evolved since the advent of powerful computational tools able to handle the requirements of nonlinearity. Unfortunately, a great many modern writers in the fields of war, strategy, military history, etc., base their understanding of the modern concepts of mathematical nonlinearity and complexity science on a vague impression of the term "Chaos Theory." They appear to have read nothing (or worse.
Thus these writers are tilting at windmills, not at Clausewitz. See bart Schuurman's critique in " Clausewitz and the 'new Wars' Scholars parameters, spring 2010,.89-100. Still, On War is—unavoidably, given the nature of its subject and the sophistication of Clausewitz's approach—a tough, challenging work to read. The original German is itself notoriously difficult. Many modern Germans actually prefer to read it in the latest (though not the best) English translation for its relative clarity. That "clarity however, has come under increasing suspicion from modern Clausewitz scholars, who argue that it was achieved at the cost of oversimplifying and distorting some important aspects of Clausewitz's argument. The many translations of On War into other languages have magnified these problems by introducing new distortions along national and linguistic lines.
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E., to help the reader develop his or her own strategic judgment in order to deal with the ever-changing strategic environment. Recently published major books in English about Clausewitz (at least 15 in English alone since 2000 are available from m or elsewhere and can be found listed/linked here. European interest has spiked as well, motivated in part by well-founded suspicions that the Americans—despite all the attention they've lavished on Clausewitz since the debacle in vietnam—have missed or misconstrued his key conceptions. Evidence of this renewed European interest can be found in our English, French, german, japanese, spanish/Portuguese, and "Other" bibliographies, but much of this European work tends to be published (primarily or in translation) in English. Clausewitz's essay views inspire a lot of antagonism. A cynical—but entirely accurate—explanation for much of this antagonism is simply that Clausewitz's most famous book is very long and quite difficult to read.
Many of Clausewitz's attackers have clearly never read it, basing their understanding on secondary and tertiary works, on rumor, or simply on the assumption that any book "on war" (especially one written by a german) must be essentially evil. However, many of Clausewitz's most strident recent critics—e. G., Bruce Fleming, tony corn, phillip meilinger, mary kaldor —aren't really attacking Clausewitz at all: Essentially, they see his name as a symbol of a broad style of conventional, industrialized, technology-intensive, bureaucratized, western warfare. They may have some good ideas good concerning that kind of warfare, and it is true that Clausewitz's name has sometimes been invoked by its advocates. Nonetheless, such warfare is not "based on" the ideas of the pre-industrial Clausewitz, who largely ignored technology and certainly never saw a machinegun, dive-bomber, tank, or a-bomb.
One is by the Athenian writer Thucydides: The peloponnesian War (c.400. The other is Clausewitz's On War (1832). Unlike many other great books, however, the ideas Clausewitz proposed have never been fully absorbed into the mainstream in the manner of, say, adam Smith's work on capitalism. This is due partly to the depth and difficulty of the original work and to the unusual dialectical character of Clausewitz's approach, but also to the startling modernity of his concepts: Recent studies have made clear the similarities between Clausewitz's world-view and such modern scientific. After more than a century and a half, Clausewitz's work remains the most comprehensive, perceptive, and (in key respects) modern contribution to political/military and strategic thought. In whole or in part, it remains required reading in America's intermediate-level and senior military schools, as well as in many civilian strategic studies programs.
For example, the national War College's ay 2008 instructor's guide to On War is here. Whether these pme schools or official doctrine actually capture the meaning and value of Clausewitz's work remains a subject of energetic debate. Clausewitz's approach is also increasingly taught in business schools. An ambitious recent abridgement of On War aimed at business strategists, originally published in the. S.A., has been translated into german, Italian, korean, japanese, polish, portuguese, russian, and Turkish. Comments on Clausewitz by jack welch, the famous Chairman and ceo of General Electric, are here. A major attraction of Clausewitz for modern strategic thinkers is that he does not attempt to sell them a program or prescribe solutions. He understands that his readers will face a strategic world unpredictably different in many respects from his own. Rather, his theory is essentially descriptive of the nature of human-on-human strategic problems; his purpose is to develop our human capital—i.
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Even though he was a relatively junior foreign officer in the russian army in 1812, he appears as a minor character in Tolstoy's War and peace. He played a key role in negotiating the convention of father's taurrogen that neutralized the Prussian corps in Napoleon's Grande Armée and eventually forced Prussia to join the anti-French coalition. During the 1815 Waterloo campaign, the Prussian army corps of online which he was chief of staff played a key role (fighting at wavre) in the final victory over Napoleon. Clausewitz's important study of that campaign drew Wellington into writing his only serious essay on the subject. His writings provide important first-person, historical, and analytical commentaries on key events of the dramatic revolutionary era. ( On War represents only three of the ten volumes of his collected works, and even the full set of these volumes leaves out many important articles, papers, lectures, and his voluminous correspondence.) Any list of Prussia's great figures is likely to include him—see, for. Of all the "great books" in the western canon, only two address the fundamental problems of war and strategy.
A discussion of problems in the modern application of his works is here. Clausewitz has been read—or at least commented upon—by a great many important soldiers, writers, and thinkers, among them the duke of Wellington, moltke (the elder hans Delbrück, spenser Wilkinson, julian Stafford Corbett, john McAuley palmer,. Fuller, lenin, hitler, mao (see discussions in English, french, and German patton, Dwight Eisenhower, henry kissinger, caspar weinberger, and Colin Powell. However, Clausewitz was an interesting personality in many other ways and has attracted the attention of historians and biographers for reasons that sometimes have little to do with his reputation as a theorist, per. The romance and unusual intellectual relationship between Clausewitz and his wife, countess Marie von Brühl, is one such reason: consider how surprising it is that the west's greatest work of military theory was edited and introduced in the 1830's by a woman. From 1802 on, Clausewitz lived and worked at the center of the Prussian state and knew virtually everyone of any importance short or distinction. He played an important though junior role in the resurrection of Prussia after its near-destruction by France in 1806/07. His name was quite well known in Prussian society and he was among Prussia's national heroes after the wars of 1812-15.
a staff officer with political/military responsibilities at the very center of the Prussian state, and as a prominent military educator. Clausewitz first entered combat as a cadet at the age of 13, rose to the rank of Major-General at 38, married into the high nobility, moved in rarefied intellectual circles in Berlin, and wrote a book which has become the most influential work of military. That book, on War vom Kriege in the original German) has been translated into virtually every major language (there are, for example, 33 Chinese versions and it remains a living influence on modern strategists in many fields. (you can directly compare the original German and the 1873 English translation here.) see the biographical chronology below. A fuller biographical treatment is here. Do you know which translation you have? Return to top. Clausewitz's fame is largely due to the importance and influence of his magnum opus, On War, unquestionably the most important single work ever written on the theory of warfare and of strategy, although both the book and its impact have been interpreted and misinterpreted. His theories are of interest to military strategists, historians, political scientists, business thinkers, and scientists (although Clausewitz's own discussion is not overtly mathematical and Clausewitz laughed at the notion of a "science of war.
Opens as a new page. Which translation of Clausewitz's magnum opus, On War, is the best (and which translation. I have?) opens as a new page. How do i teach Clausewitz to my students? How do i learn more about Clausewitz and his ideas, the ways he has been used or interpreted, the controversies about him, or his relevance today? Graph of Clausewitz's visibility over time, from "Who's Bigger?: Where historical Figures really rank". Who was Carl von revelation Clausewitz? Carl Philipp Gottfried (other writers sometimes use 'gottlieb von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a prussian soldier and intellectual. Issues regarding Clausewitz's name are discussed below (i.e., here ).
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"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad." (Aldous Huxley mobile compatible, unless otherwise noted, the text on this page is original to m and. Much of it was donated, however,. Also salon see biographical chronology below. Why is he so famous? Why are people still so interested in his ideas today? Why are Clausewitz's ideas so controversial? What, are, clausewitz's ideas? Where can I find some choice"tions?