A better war book review essay

Some books which have fallen within Defense Analysis 's fields of interest have paved the way for further studies, either because they have opened up a new area for enquiry and research, or because they have introduced new approaches and methodologies to existing areas.

diplomatic/international history + IR

Other volumes have a better war book review essay impact, but have, in their turn, owed an intellectual debt to an earlier work. Again, there are many books and studies on defense which have become forgotten or which were unappreciated at the time of their publication, but which have immediate relevance to today's problems. This section is designed to review books that fall within these categories with a view to highlighting how and why they deserve serious attention.

C reviiew magnum revuew, On Waris unquestionably the most important single work ever written on the subject of warfare.

a better war book review essay

Despite its hoary publication date ofOn War recently enjoyed a good fifteen years in vogue Nonetheless, it is much a better war book review essay often quoted than read or understood. I will not make the mistake here, however, of trying to summarize its contents. That is an impossible task. Rather, I will try to convince the reader of its importance, its relevance, and the dangers of letting someone else including myself determine one's understanding of it.

a better war book review essay

Clausewitz's writings are of fundamental importance not only for their actual content but because they have done so much to influence almost all subsequent Western and many nonWestern military thinkers. His own Summary of a better war book review essay Art of War contains not only several personal insults to Clausewitz but also a reivew many adaptations of and adjustments to his bteter.

The Marxist-Leninists carried him off in their peculiar direction, navalists like Sir Julian Stafford Corbett and the airpower theorists in others, and American nuclear strategists in yet another.

a better war book review essay

It is therefore hard to understand or appreciate the ways in which modern thinkers diverge without an understanding of this central influence.

This is true, not despite, but because of the way in which Clausewitz's original concepts have been denied, misunderstood, wxr, distorted, evolved, adopted, adapted, and mutated through varying historical circumstances over bftter past years. This represents not a weakness of Clausewitzian theory but its fundamental, flexible, adaptable stength—if also sometimes the willfulness or boneheadedness of its consumers. Would-be readers of Clausewitz's tome unfortunately encounter a number of significant a better war book review essay to its enjoyment.

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First, there is the prosaic fact that many find it very difficult to read and comprehend. This is not because its author was a poor writer, nor even because of the oftmentioned and in my own view exaggerated fact that it is an unfinished draft. Rather, On War is difficult because the subject it treats is difficult: Nations, states, dssay, a better war book review essay civilizations have gone down in bloody ruin because they failed to master it.

A genuinely probing book about it is thus predestined to be a tough read.

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This inherent difficulty is compounded by On War 's unfamiliar style. The modern reader often expects a book with a one-paragraph thesis statement followed by three hundred pages of easily skimmed-through backup documentation.

a better war book review essay

Unfortunately, one actually has to read and think about Clausewitz in order to understand his points and the way they fit together. Second, Clausewitz challenges our egos. Nobody can possibly be as penetrating and brilliant as Clausewitz's acolytes endlessly proclaim him to be.]