Carl Phillip Gottleib von Clausewitz (1780-1831), Prussian general and military theorist, is most famous for his book On War, a work that has influenced numerous wartime leaders from Lenin to Henry Kissinger. Parkinson's biography of Clausewitz provides detailed examinations of the Napoleonic battles in which he participated and which shaped his theories of warfare. Parkinson describes Clausewitz's first experiences in combat as a twelve-year-old cadet in battles with France along the Rhine. The biography follows Clausewitz during the years of Napoleon's rise, when, disgusted with the Prussian King's refusal to fight, he joined the Russian army and witnessed Napoleon's defeat following the destruction of Moscow and several harrowing months of battle. The book also includes in-depth descriptions of the battles following Napoleon's return, in which Clausewitz put his theories into practice against Napoleon's marshals.