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Donald Stoker, Clausewitz: His Life and Work
(Oxford University Press, NOV 2014)

304 pages, ISBN 978-0-19-935794-9

(Click here for OUP's announcement.)

Cover imageFROM OUP: "Military historian Donald Stoker here offers an incisive biography of Carl von Clausewitz, sketching out his life and career and exploring the various causes that led to the formulation of his theories about war. Though On War remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1831, Clausewitz's devoted wife, Marie, organized the papers he had left behind and arranged for their publication. The ten volumes of Clausewitz's collected works appeared from 1832-1837, with On War encompassing the first three volumes. Stoker considers both the merits and detriments of the works, but also pays careful attention to the life and experiences of Clausewitz himself. In doing so, he notes that those discussing Clausewitz's legacy as a theorist today have largely forgotten what was most important to him: being a soldier, and one of renown. Clausewitz is often remembered merely as staff officer, someone pushing papers and not in the midst of battle. Though Stoker notes that Clausewitz certainly spilled his share of ink, he also spilled blood — his as well as that of the enemy. He experienced the mass warfare of his age at its most intense and visceral. He knew what it was like to be wounded, to be a prisoner, to have friends killed and wounded, to suffer hunger and thirst, and to have the heat and cold try to kill him after the enemy's best efforts had failed. Success on the field of battle-success meaning victory as well as distinguishing one's self above one's comrades, who are also brave and daring men—this, Stoker shows, is what drove Clausewitz. Stoker also considers the continuing relevance of Clausewitz's work today, particularly focusing on its effect on strategic thinking in American foreign policy. Stoker is Professor of Strategy and Policy for the U.S. Naval War College's program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is the author of The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War."

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Clausewitz in His Time: Essays in the Cultural and Intellectual History of Thinking About War

by Peter Paret
Far from being a detached theorist, Carl von Clausewitz was as intensely aware of the cultural and intellectual currents of his time as he was engaged in its political and military conflicts. The society in which he lived and the people with whom he served affected the analytic method he developed in his writing and the conclusions he reached. The essays in this volume examine Clausewitz in comparison with teachers, friends, and opponents, a perspective enriched by significant documents which have been previously ignored. They deepen our knowledge of Clausewitz's life and how he enlarged his understanding of warfare from its mechanisms and the interaction of its elements to its apparently permanent place in the relation between states.
est. JAN 2015

ISBN-10: 1782385819


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Reconsidering the American Way of War: U.S. Military Practice From the Revolution to Afghanistan

by Antulio J. Echevarria
"Tony" Echevarria

Reconsidering the American Way of War (Georgetown University Press, anticipated in 2014. ISBN 1626160678, 9781626160675) challenges several longstanding notions about the American way of war. It examines American military practice (strategic and operational) from the War of Independence to the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan to determine what patterns, if any, exist in the way Americans have used military force. It finds that American uses of force were driven more by political considerations than military ones and that the amount of force employed was rarely either overwhelming or decisive. To borrow from Clausewitz, the American way of war was as much an extension of US policy by other means, as it was the continuation of US politics by those means. Reconsidering the American Way of War also finds that most conceptions of American strategic culture are little more than elusive fictions—the notion of strategic culture cannot be reconciled with either change over time or change in time. Russell Weigley's seminal American Way of War (1973) examined American ideas on military strategy. This study, in contrast, analyzes American strategic and operational practice. It thus closes the gap between Weigley's history of ideas and the popular battle and campaign narratives that comprise the bulk of US military history.  It also finds that American operational practice has more in common with military science than military art. The so-called transformation and counterinsurgency revolutions are over, but their rhetoric has utterly obscured American military practice. After the Revolutions peels back that rhetoric to rediscover the American way of war.

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Clausewitz goes global:
Carl von Clausewitz in the 21st Century

Reiner Pommerin, editor
Miles-Verlag, 2011
ISBN 978-3-937885-41-4, hardcover, 380 pages
Ebook 978-3-937885-54

book coverThis Festschrift commemorates the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Clausewitz Society in the Federal Republic of Germany of 1961. This volume follows the intentions of the Clausewitz Society as described by one of its former presidents: “to view the current tasks of politics and strategy as reflected in the insights of Carl von Clausewitz and thus examine which of the principles and insights formulated by Clausewitz are still important today and are thus endowed with an enduring validity.” The board and the members of the Clausewitz-Society therefore supported the idea to examine how and when the works of Clausewitz have been interpreted in selected countries of our world; further, the goal here has been to analyze the role that Clausewitz’s thought still plays in these countries. See contents. All articles are in English. Also available here.

Read Wellington's annoyed response to Clausewitz.

On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of 1815.

by Carl von Clausewitz and the First Duke of Wellington.
Ed./trans. Christopher Bassford, Daniel Moran, and Gregory W. Pedlow (, 2010).

"On Waterloo is essential reading for those seeking an understanding of Clausewitz’s distinctive approach to historical case study as the basis of practical knowledge of armed conflict. Clausewitz’s history of the campaign of 1815 incorporates methods of critical analysis explained in Book II of On War, which were addressed primarily to the observation and assessment of past cases of strategic and operational decision-making by commanders-in chief. The Bassford, Moran, and Pedlow edition provides a highly readable translation of a work previously accessible only in German that illustrates Clausewitz’s approach to the replication and evaluation of the experience of high command. In addition, this volume offers the Duke of Wellington’s appreciative if not wholly favorable response to a partial translation of Clausewitz’s work, and several other lesser historical texts. The supporting essays by the editors are well-written and well-informed." Jon T. Sumida, University of Maryland, author, Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War (University Press of Kansas, 2008).

See Reviews: Journal of Military History, War in History.

ISBN 1453701508. More details below.

See Kindle edition and Nook e-book version.



War, Clausewitz and the Trinity

Thomas Waldman
Farnham: Ashgate, 2013
ISBN 9781409451396
Publisher's page: UKUS

Today, the ideas of Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) are employed almost ubiquitously in strategic studies, military history and defence literatures, but often in a manner which distorts their true meaning. In this book, Waldman explores Clausewitz's central theoretical device for understanding war—the 'remarkable trinity' of politics, chance and passion. By situating the great Prussian in historical context, he presents a conception truer to Clausewitz's intention. Seeking to achieve this through an in-depth reinterpretation of On War and Clausewitz's other writings, conducted through the prism of the trinity, this book draws on existing studies but argues that there is room for clarification. It presents fresh perspectives into aspects of Clausewitz's thought and emphasises elements of his theory that have often been neglected. Furthermore, it provides a solid basis from which debate on the nature of modern war can move forward.

Clausewitz, The State and War

Edited by Andreas Herberg-Rothe, Jan Willem Honig,
and Daniel Moran

Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011

ISBN 978-3-515-09912-7

Clausewitz’s understanding of war was shaped by his understanding of the state, which he regarded as the central institution of modern life. His achievements as a theorist of war in turn clarify one of the state’s essential activities: the use of force to defend and advance its interests and values, and those of the society it governs. These diverse essays take Clausewitz’s ideas about the state as the starting point for analyzing the central issue posed by his work: the relationship between war in all its manifestations, and politics in all its forms. The modern state was the starting point for Clausewitz’s understanding of politics, but did not unduly confine his outlook, nor cause him to suppose that only states make war. Similarly, while it is the wars of states that provided most of the historical evidence on which his theoretical work rests, the implications of that work can be seen to encompass political violence in all its forms. It is for this reason that it continues to inspire reflection and admiration to this day.



State of Doom: Bernard Brodie, the Bomb, and the Birth of the Bipolar World
. By Barry Scott Zellen (Continuum, 2011). ISBN: 1441124624. This book examines Bernard Brodie's strategic and philosophical response to the nuclear age, embedding his work within the classical theories of Carl von Clausewitz. Zellen is a Researcher at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, USA, where he is Research Director of the Arctic Security Project. The managing editor of Culture and Conflict Review and Strategic Insights journals, he has published several books, including On Thin Ice: The Inuit, the State and the Challenge of Arctic Sovereignty (Lexington Books, 2009) and Arctic Doom, Arctic Boom: The Geopolitics of Climate Change in the Arctic (Praeger, 2009).

On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of 1815
Ed./trans. Christopher Bassford, Daniel Moran, and Gregory W. Pedlow (, 2010). ISBN: 1453701508. This book is built around a new and complete translation of Clausewitz's study of the Waterloo campaign [Berlin: 1835], which is a strategic analysis of the entire campaign (not just the Battle of Waterloo), and the Duke of Wellington's detailed 1842 response to it. It contains Wellington's initial battle report; two of Clausewitz's post-battle letters to his wife Marie; correspondence within Wellington's circle concerning Clausewitz's work; Clausewitz's campaign study; Wellington's memorandum in response; and enlightening essays by the editors. This was Clausewitz's latest campaign study and its findings were never incorporated into On War. Thus most readers will find it new material. Search inside this book.

Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to
On War
(University Press of Kansas, 2008). By Jon Tetsuro Sumida . ISBN (hardcover): 9780700616169; (paperback 0700618198) Sumida contends that Clausewitz's central value lies in his method of reenacting the psychological difficulties of high command in order to promote the powers of intuition that he believed were essential to effective strategic decision-making. Sumida also correctly notes Clausewitz's argument that the defense is a stronger form of war than the offense and goes on to argue that this is in fact his primary strategic proposition. This concept, Sumida maintains, must be understood in order to make sense of Clausewitz's positions on absolute and real war, guerrilla warfare, and the relationship of war and policy/politics. Here is the Preface and Table of Contents. Here is the preface to the (revised) paperback edition (2011). See Reviews.

Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century
edited by Hew Strachan and Andreas Herberg-Rothe (Oxford University Press, September 2007). ISBN: 0199232024. This is the proceedings of the March 2005 Oxford University conference on Clausewitz in the 21st Century. This is a stellar, multidisciplinary collection of essays that defines the current state of the art in Clausewitz studies. Kindle edition.
See discussion by Andreas Herberg-Rothe and Tony Echevarri; Review by James Woudhuysen in Spiked.

On War: A Biography (Books That Changed the World). By Hew Strachan (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006). ISBN: 0871139561. Strachan, one of the world’s foremost military historians, offers some answers to many of the problems posed by Clausewitz's writings. He explains how and why On War was written, elucidates what Clausewitz meant, offers insight into the impact it has had on conflict, and evaluates its continued significance in our world today.

Clausewitz and Contemporary War.
By Antulio J. Echevarria (Oxford University Press, 2007). ISBN: 0199231915. Tony Echevarria lays out Clausewitz's methodology and uses that as a basis for understanding his contributions. He addresses Clausewitz's theories concerning the nature of war, the relationship between war and politics, the major principles of strategy he examined, and their relationship to current debates over the nature of contemporary conflict. Kindle edition.

Clausewitz Reconsidered
(Praeger, 2009). By H.P. Wilmott and Michael B. Barrett. ISBN: 0313362866. This book would have been a lot better had Wilmot spent some time actually reading Clausewitz before buying wholesale into the fantasies of the "New Wars" scholars. The authors assess Clausewitz's theories, examining their viability at a time when asymmetric warfare and "war" conducted by and against nonstate actors is increasingly common and state control often ephemeral. The basis of the book's analysis is an examination of war over the last four centuries, since the Thirty Years' War, including the Cold War and subsequent conflicts. They start with the dubious assumption that war today is far more endemic and brutal than when Clausewitz tried to explain it. This volume explores that alleged paradox and shows that if anything, we can anticipate further uncontrolled violence. The authors conclude that Clausewitz and On War have assumed a status akin to holy writ, but are obviously dated. The aim of Clausewitz Reconsidered is to bring the master's theories up to date, providing the current generation with a new basis for thought and analysis.

Clausewitz's Puzzle: The Political Theory of War
By Andreas Herberg-Rothe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). ISBN: 0199202699. Herberg-Rothe argues that Clausewitz developed a wide-ranging political theory of war by reflecting on the success, the limitations, and the failure of Napoleon's method of waging war, a theory, which is still relevant in light of contemporary conflict. The book lays down the foundation of a general theory of war by concentrating on Clausewitz's historical analyses of war campaigns.
See reviews in English and German of the German edition. See the publication announcement from OUP. See listings in Amazon.UK, Oxford University Press and in Oxford Scholarship OnLine, and this discussion on

On Wellington: A Critique of Waterloo
(University of Oklahoma Press, 2010). By Carl von Clausewitz as translated by Peter Hofschröer. ISBN: 0806141085. This is a translation of Clausewitz's Der Feldzug von 1815 in Frankreich (Berlin, 1835). The translator uses Clausewitz's campaign study (which focuses equally on all of the top commanders of the campaign) to continue his personal vendetta against Wellington. Unfortunately, Clausewitz did not share this translator's blatant prejudices. Ironically, given its artificial focus on Wellington, and unlike On Waterloo (truth-in-advertising: a production), it contains only Clausewitz's campaign study, not Wellington's original after-action report or his reply to Clausewitz, Clausewitz's post-battle letters, or essays by other scholars. But buy both and let us know what you think.
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Clausewitz and America: Strategic Thought and Practice from Vietnam to Iraq
By Stuart Kinross. (Routledge, 2008). ISBN: 041556963X. While many reviewers seem to regard Kinross's book as a long-overdue attack on Clausewitz, Kinross's actual views are a great deal more sophisticated than that view would imply.
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Do you know which translation of ON WAR you have?
Note that there are three major translations of Clausewitz's On War (and several obscure ones). Most electronic versions are copies of the 1873 Graham translation (because it is out of copyright), but unless you are obsessed with the viewpoint of Victorian-era Britons, it is not the version you want. Also, check the ISBNs for the book you're ordering: Amazon often gets editions confused.
Buy the standard English translation of Clausewitz's On War, by Michael Howard and Peter Paret  (Princeton University Press, 1976/84). ISBN: 0691018545 (paperback). Kindle edition. This quite readable translation appeared at the close of the Vietnam War and has become the modern standard. However, if you're serious about reading Clausewitz in detail, read the much more accurate translation by O.J. Mattjis Jolles. See edition to far right of this column. For background, see this discussion of the various English translations of Clausewitz's Vom Kriege.
On War, by Carl von Clausewitz, trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Alfred A. Knopf, 1976/84). ISBN: 0679420436. This is the Everyman's Library edition. This is a very fine edition of the Howard/Paret translation, superior in some ways to the standard Princeton version. However, the pagination is different, making it a bit more difficult to locate specific quotations, etc. If you're serious about reading Clausewitz in detail, read the much more accurate translation by O.J. Mattjis Jolles. See this discussion of the various English translations of Clausewitz's Vom Kriege.
Recommended for serious readers. The Book of War (The Modern Library, February 2000). ISBN: 0375754776. Clausewitz and Sun Tzu in one book. The translation of Clausewitz's On War is the 1943 version done by German literary scholar O.J. Matthijs Jolles at the University of Chicago during World War II—not today's standard translation, but certainly the most accurate. The only error we're aware of is spelling Clausewitz's first name with a 'K'—almost certainly the publisher's decision, not the translator's. With an interesting introduction by contemporary military guru Ralph Peters. The version of Sun Tzu included is also excellent—this is the modern translation by Roger Ames, based on complete ancient texts found by archaeologists.
On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of 1815. Ed./trans. Christopher Bassford, Daniel Moran, and Gregory W. Pedlow (, 2010). ISBN: 1453701508. This book is built around a new and complete translation of Clausewitz's study "The Campaign of 1815: Strategic Overview," first published as Der Feldzug von 1815 in Frankreich (Berlin, 1835). It is vol. 8 of Clausewitz's collected works (Hinterlassene Werke des Generals Carl von Clausewitz über Krieg und Kriegführung). This study was written late in Clausewitz's life, after most of On War had already been drafted. Thus it reflects Clausewitz's most mature thinking but, unlike many of his earlier historical studies, its findings have not been incorporated into Clausewitz's magnum opus. Thus most readers will find it new material. The book also includes the responses of Wellington and his circle, as well as analytical essays by the editors.
Clausewitz in English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Britain and America, 1815-1945, by Christopher Bassford (Oxford University Press, 1994). ISBN: 0195083830. Explores what soldiers, academics, and others in the English-speaking world were saying about Clausewitz between 1815 and the 1990s—and, more intriguingly, why. Not always a pretty tale. Buy a used version of this classic—the publisher's price is an outrage. The full text is on-line free HERE.
"[A] startlingly worthwhile book.... Bassford tells a great story of dutiful struggle and pigheadedness, of petty revenge and epiphany, and, ultimately, of how Anglophone armies that read Clausewitz reluctantly beat the hell out of a German-speaking military that willfully read him wrong."
Clausewitz and the State, 2nd edition. By Peter Paret (Princeton University Press, 2007). ISBN: 0691131309. The new edition of this classic 1976 work—the best biography of Clausewitz available in English—includes a preface that allows Paret to recount the past thirty years of discussion on Clausewitz and respond to critics. A companion volume to Clausewitz's On War, this book is indispensable to anyone interested in Clausewitz, his theories, and their proper historical context.


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Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War (University Press of Kansas, 2008). By Jon Tetsuro Sumida. ISBN (hardcover): 9780700616169 (paperback 0700618198). Sumida contends that Clausewitz's central value lies in his method of reenacting the psychological difficulties of high command in order to promote the powers of intuition that he believed were essential to effective strategic decision-making. Sumida also correctly notes Clausewitz's argument that the defense is a stronger form of war than the offense and goes on to argue that this is in fact his primary strategic proposition. This concept, Sumida maintains, must be understood in order to make sense of Clausewitz's positions on absolute and real war, guerrilla warfare, and the relationship of war and policy/politics. Here is the Preface and Table of Contents. Here is the preface to the (revised) paperback edition (2011). See Reviews.
Historical and Political Writings, by Carl von Clausewitz, trans. Peter Paret and Daniel Moran (Princeton University Press, 1992). ISBN: 0691031924. This companion volume to On War brings together Clausewitz's political writings and a selection of his historical works. This material reveals Clausewitz as an exceptionally independent observer both of the past and of his own times, distinguished by an unideological pragmatism and a keen sense of the possibilities and shortcomings of state power. Contents.
ABOVE: Hans Delbrück (1848-1929), History of the Art of War within the Framework of Political History, 4 vols., trans. [Brigadier General, USA] Walter J. Renfroe, Jr. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1975-85).
"In a report that [Clausewitz] wrote on 10 July 1827 and that is placed at the head of the work he left behind, Vom Kriege, he considers redoing this work once more from the viewpoint that there is a double art of war, that is, the one "in which the purpose is the overthrow of the enemy," and the one "in which one only intends to make a few conquests on the borders of the country." The "completely different nature" of these two efforts must always be separated from one another. Clausewitz died in 1831, before he could carry out this work. To fill out the lacuna that he left has been one of the purposes of the present work. (Delbrück, vol.4, p.454.)
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Clausewitz en France

by Benoit Durieux

(Paris: Economica, 2008). Broché: 872 pages
Editeur: Economica 2008
Langue : Français
ISBN: 2717855777

In France, the perception of Clausewitz, i.e., the way he was read, understood, interpreted, criticised or ignored went through four distinct phases. The chronological and thematic study of the books in which he is quoted, studied or simply neglected shows that each of these phases corresponds to a specific evolution in thinking about war in France. Since his captivity in France in 1807 and until the Franco-Prussian conflict in 1870, his theories were seen as applying only to limited conflicts. Between 1871 and 1930, Clausewitz became a reference in military debates as the representative of the German theorists of the art of war, a commentator on Napoleon, and the theoretician of moral forces. At the end of this period, he was held partly responsible for the massacres that had occurred during World War I, which led to his marginalisation. Between 1930 and 1990, the appearance of revolutionary wars and nuclear weapons led to the discovery of another Clausewitz who described the links between war and politics, an idea which appealed to civilian strategists,theorists of Marxism, and philosophers more than to the military.  Since 1990 and due to the influence of the Americans, Clausewitz has reappeared in the strategic and philosophical French debate with a third face, that of the theoretician of uncertainty and human freedom.
     The Prussian general finally appears as someone who has kept the debate on war permanently going in France. The study of how Clausewitz was understood throughout the years makes it possible to write a history of this debate. The line that have structured the debate continue to explain the ideas we have about war.
     Finally, this exhaustive history of the perception of Clausewitz provides us with a history of French military thought, with characters as different as Jomini and Madame de Staael, Jaures and Foch, Gamelin and Lenin, Mao and Aron, Beaufre and Rene Girard. At the same time, it proposes an original answer to the difficult question concerning the measure of the influence of an intellectual work when the author has died.

See our bibliography of works in French.


William H. McNeil, The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force and Society Since A.D. 1000 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982). A comprehensive analysis of the development of military power over the past thousand years by a famed world historian. ISBN: 0226561585

Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of Species (Basic Books, 2002).
Purely a book on biology, this approach to the sources of evolutionary--and thus strategic--innovation should affect your understanding of strategy in the human domain. ISBN 0465043925 (Paperback).

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (W.W. Norton: 1999).
Geographer Diamond asks why the civilizations of Eurasia, esp. the West, have such complex material civilizations, providing a rich, multi-factor analysis--a valuable contrast to V.D. Hanson's interesting work on the cultural origins of Western military superiority. ISBN: 0393317552. See review by Christopher Bassford.

Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed (Viking, 2005).
While Guns, Germs, and Steel explained the geographic and environmental reasons why some human populations have flourished, Collapse uses the same factors to examine why some ancient societies, including the Anasazi of the American Southwest and the Viking colonies of Greenland, as well as modern ones such as Rwanda, have fallen apart. ISBN: 0670033375. ISBN: 0393317552. See review by Christopher Bassford.

Gary A. Klein, Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions (MIT Press, 1997).
Klein, a cognitive psychologist, spent a decade watching fire-fighters, critical care nurses, pilots, nuclear power plant operators, battle planners, chess masters, and others making split-second decisions on the job, acting under such real-life constraints as time pressure, high stakes, personal responsibility, and shifting conditions. This book is a clear and engaging account of his findings, and it offers historians and military theorists a more realistic model for understanding the behavior of military and political decisionmakers than many have followed in the past. ISBN: 0262611465

John A. Lynn, Battle: A History of Combat and Culture (Westview, 2003).
Lynn is an expert on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century warfare, esp. French, but here he has written a sweeping look at the cultural aspects of warfare in contexts ranging from classical Greece and India to medieval and modern Europe, Japan, and Egypt. More important, he has done so without succumbing to the "war & culture" crowd's tendency towards single-factor analysis, and his discussion of Clausewitz—despite some unhealthy over-reliance on Azar Gat—is sensible and insightful. ISBN: 0813333725

Mitchell M. Waldrop, Complexity: The Emerging Science At The Edge Of Order And Chaos (Simon & Schuster, 1992).
Waldrop tells us the historical development of the birthing ground of Complexity science, the Santa Fe Institute. However, his main subject is complexity science itself and its implications. As one reviewer puts it, "He not only tells you what Complexity IS, but WHY you should care about it." As with James Gleick's Chaos, this is must reading for any 21st-century Clausewitzian wannabe. (See Alan D. Beyerchen's essay on the connection.) ISBN: 0671872346

James Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science (New York: Viking, 1987).
In the 20th-anniversary edition of this now-classic work, Gleick, formerly a science writer for the New York Times, depicts the beginnings of Chaos theory, which draws on the seemingly random patterns that characterize many natural phenomena. It explains the thought processes and investigative techniques of Chaos scientists, illustrating concepts like Julia sets, Lorenz attractors, and the Mandelbrot Set with  sketches, photographs, and wonderful descriptive prose. Must reading for any Clausewitzian. (See Alan D. Beyerchen's essay on the connection.) ISBN: 0143113453

Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power (Doubleday: 2001).
This is a seriously flawed but also very interesting study of the character of Western warfare. The author is a classicist and contemporary political polemicist. ISBN: 0385720386. Reviewed by Christopher Bassford.

Robert Drews, The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 B.C. (Princeton University Press, 1993).
A fascinating exploration of a major archaeological, historical, and military mystery The Bronze Age came to a close early in the twelfth century b.c. with one of the worst calamities in history: over a very short period, destruction descended throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, bringing to an end the Levantine, Hittite, Trojan, and Mycenaean kingdoms and plunging some lands into a dark age that would last more than four hundred years. In his attempt to account for this destruction, Robert Drews rejects the traditional explanations and proposes a military one instead. ISBN: 0691025916

Lawrence Keeley, War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
Simply one of the best books we've read in years. Unlike the faux-anthropological nonsense published in recent years by academic historians, it gives us a genuine look at the anthropology of war--the author is an actual anthropologist and archaeologist. Looking at warfare among pre-state, pre-literate  peoples from the stone age to the present day, Keeley convincingly demonstrates that prehistoric warfare was more deadly, more frequent, and more ruthless than modern war. ISBN: 0195119126.

John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Is history a science? Gaddis answers these and other questions in this short, witty, searching look at the historian's craft. Historians combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists, paralleling in intriguing ways the "new sciences" of chaos and complexity, but not the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning within static systems seems divorced from the world as we know it. ISBN: 0195171578

Clausewitz Souvenirs Clausewitz Souvenirs logo

Clausewitzian "Trinity" demonstration device
The "Trinity" is a key concept in Clausewitzian theory, which Clausewitz illustrated by referring to this scientific device. You can obtain the ROMP (Randomly Oscillating Magnetic Pendulum) from science toy stores for about $15. From
Randomly Oscillating Magnetic Pendulum
Not available at Amazon?
Try this link.


Azar Gat, The Development of Military Thought - The Nineteenth Century (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1992). This is a useful and important book, though Gat is an uncommonly pompous academic and tends to take his own insights a little too seriously. ISBN: 0198202466.
Azar Gat, The Origins of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2001). Gat continues both to have some good ideas and to take all of his own ideas rather more seriously than either the evidence or the nature of reality can justify. ISBN: 0199247625.
Clausewitz and the State: The Man, His Theories, and His Times, by Peter Paret (Princeton, 1976). ISBN: 069100806X. The best and standard biography of Clausewitz available in English.
Carl von Clausewitz, Clausewitz On Strategy: Inspiration and Insight from a Master Strategist. Edited by Tiha von Ghyczy, Bolko von Oetinger, and Christopher Bassford
From the Boston Consulting Group's Strategy Institute
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons.
ISBN: 0471415138
"Writers who use war as a metaphor for business have always been less than appealing to me. Maybe it's because, as some folks say, "It's a 'guy' thing," and I'm not a guy. On the other hand, I had trouble putting down Clausewitz on Strategy (Wiley, 2001), a publication of the Boston Consulting Group's Strategy Institute and edited by Tiha von Ghyczy, Bolko von Oetinger, and Christopher Bassford. In their carefully chosen selections from Clausewitz's On War and in their lengthy commentary in the introduction, these present-day strategists present much food for thought." (Marilyn Norris, Strategy & Leadership
May/June 2001)
Philosophers of Peace and War: Kant, Clausewitz, Marx, Engels and Tolstoy, by W. B. Gallie (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978). ISBN 052129651X; 978-0521296519. From the book announcement: Intellectual eminence apart, what did Kant, Clausewitz, Marx and Engels, and Tolstoy have in common? Professor Gallic argues that they made contributions to 'international theory'—to the understanding of the character and causes of war and of the possibility of peace between nations - which were of unrivalled originality in their own times and remain of undiminished importance in ours. But these contributions have been either ignored or much misunderstood.
Stephen Bungay, The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps Between Plans, Actions and Results (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2011). ISBN-10: 1857885597 ISBN-13: 978-1857885590. We hear increasingly that "strategy" is irrelevant and that all we really need is better execution. We're pretty sympathetic to the frustrations underlying that view, but the author of The Art of Action understands that strategy and execution are not separate domains. Stephen Bungay, who enjoys real credibility as a businessman (including 17 years with The Boston Consulting Group) and as a military historian (graduate work at Oxford and Tübingen) demonstrates a sophisticated grasp both of Clausewitz and Moltke's thinking and of how that thinking was reflected in practice by the German General Staff. Crucially, and unusually for writers who attempt to map the military domain to business, he genuinely understands that "business is not war."
Modern Strategy, by Colin Gray (Oxford, 1999). Hardcover ISBN: 0198280300. Softcover ISBN: 0198782519. Gray is considered by many to be the foremost Clausewitzian writer on strategic affairs today.
Reading Clausewitz. By Beatrice Heuser. Paperback - 320 pages (Pimlico, 2002) ISBN: 071266484X. This is a wide-ranging but rather shallow study on how to read Clausewitz and how others have read him—from the military commanders in World War One through Lenin and Mao Zedung to strategists in the nuclear age. Designed for Staff College students. See review.
Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought, by Michael Handel (Cass, 3rd ed, 2001). ISBN: 0714681326. Handel's work compares the thoughts of Sun Tzu, Jomini, and Clausewitz.
Clausewitz: A Biography. By Roger Parkinson (New York: Stein and Day, 1971). Reissued 2002. This book is poorly regarded by many, but it does have some strengths in covering Clausewitz's personal life and experiences. It will be superceded by Donald Stoker's Clausewitz: His Life and Work. Softcover ISBN: 0815412339.
The Cognitive Character of War: Prussia, 1806. By Peter Paret (Princeton University Press, 2009). ISBN 0691135819. This book traces Napoleon's victory over Prussia in 1806 and Prussia's effort to recover from defeat to show how in one particular historical episode operational analyses together with institutional and political decisions eventually turned defeat to victory. In the concluding chapter, Paret addresses the impact of 1806 on two men who fought on opposing sides in the campaign and sought a new theoretical understanding of war—Henri Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz. Reviewed by Jennie Kiesling [USMA].
War, Politics, and Power. Selections from On War, and "I Believe and Profess." By Carl von Clausewitz, translated and edited by Edward M. Collins (COL, USAF) (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1962). Softcover, 209pp. ISBN: 0895264013. 
Carl von Clausewitz, On War (8 Cassettes), (probably 1873 Graham edition), Read by Nadia May. Format: Audiotape. Pub. Date: December  1990. Edition Description "Unabridged," but we're dubious. ISBN: 0786101946.
Carl von Clausewitz, The Campaign of 1812 in Russia. Trans. anonymous [Francis Egerton, Lord Ellesmere]. London: J. Murray, 1843. Foreword by Gerard Chaliand. This reprint publication 1997. Softcover, 148pp. ISBN: 0962871583. Another version of this text is available free on-line.
Carl von Clausewitz, The Campaign of 1812 in Russia. Trans. anonymous [Francis Egerton, Lord Ellesmere]. London: J. Murray, 1843. Hardcover, 260pp. Publisher: Stackpole Books. This reprint publication 1992. ISBN: 1853671142. Another version of this text is available free on-line.
Michael Howard. Clausewitz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983. Textbook Paperback, 79th ed., 79pp. ISBN: 0192876074.
Cimbala, Stephen. Clausewitz and Escalation: Classical Perspectives on Nuclear Strategy. London: Frank Cass, 1991. Hardcover, 218pp. ISBN: 0714634204.
Carl von Clausewitz, Principles of War. This apears to be a reprint of the 1942 Hans Gatzke translation. Dover Books. ISBN: 0486427994. This text is free on-line HERE.
Handel, Michael I., ed. Clausewitz and Modern Strategy. London: Frank Cass, 1986. Hardcover, 324pp. ISBN: 0714632945. Softcover 0714640530.
The Essential Clausewitz: Selections from On War, by Carl von Clausewitz, edited by Joseph I. Greene. This is a Dover reprint of the version published by Cassell and Company, London, 1945.
NOT Recommended. Here's why.
Carl von Clausewitz. On War. Edited and abridged by Anatol Rapoport. Paperback, 461pp. Publisher: Viking Penguin, 1968; based on the 1873 Graham translation; includes elements of 1908 F.N. Maude edition). ISBN: 0140444270.

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Audio MP.3's of the first four
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(the Graham translation)

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